Remember the sit-in on the House floor that Democrats held on the House floor back in June? Politico reports that Speaker Ryan is considering taking some action to reprimand Democrats who were involved:
The exact language is still in flux, and multiple sources said discussions are ongoing. But Speaker Paul Ryan’s office and other leadership staff have been researching ways they can punish Democrats for their controversial occupation of the House floor to protest the chamber’s lack of response to the Orlando, Florida shooting massacre…
One option that’s been floated is a resolution broadly stating a sentiment that such tactics shouldn’t be allowed and will be sanctioned somehow going forward. Others are hoping Republicans will publicly rebuke certain Democrats they say “intimidated” nonpartisan House staff during the late-June incident.
Democrats held the sit-in in order to demand a vote on their mislabeled “no fly, no buy” bill. Republicans turned the C-Span cameras off and Dems were left to take photos of one another and post them on Twitter. That’s against House rules but Democrats continued doing it anyway, even after being asked to stop by the Sergeant at Arms.
The Sgt at Arms is asking us to stop taking photos and video from House floor. Republicans should turn the cameras back on. #NoBillNoBreak
— Rep. John Yarmuth (@RepJohnYarmuth) June 22, 2016
Here’s the scene in the chamber when Speaker Ryan attempted to restore order:
Ryan was clearly upset by this breach of decorum and later called the sit-in a “fundraising stunt” which diminished the institution. Former House Majority Leader Tom Delay said he would “file ethics charges against every member that did this.”
In July, Politico reported that Ryan and Majority Leader McCarthy were investigating reports of intimidation of House staff by Democrats:
Speaking with reporters, McCarthy said he and Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) would be meeting with the Sargent at Arms to discuss the matter. They’re looking for video evidence, too, McCarthy added, noting that he’s already spoken with several eyewitnesses.
“There have been a number of reports from members of certain things … about some of the Democrats and the way they treated [staff],” he said. “Some people said intimidation and even knocking things out of the hands of professional staff. [We’re] finding out if that actually took place. Is there video of this? There are some people that were around when this took place that had come and told me about this as well, they had seen it.”
Democrats were out of line and appear to have violated House rules during the sit-in. The Speaker really should send a message that there are consequences for turning the House into an Occupy camp.