For twenty-six hours commencing on Wednesday, June 22nd, the House Floor was the location of a sit-in led by the Democratic party to demand a vote on gun violence legislation. The following is a release from U.S. House of Representatives.
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Washington, DC – Late last night, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) spoke on the House Floor as part of the sit-in to demand a vote on gun violence legislation. Schiff explained why there had been no vote yet:
“It is because of the stranglehold of an organization with three letters: NRA. It is the same organization that came to this body more than ten years ago and asked for something unthinkable! It asked for an immunity from liability that no other industry enjoys and it got it. Because this body and this leadership that occupies that chair will do anything the NRA asks. And that has got to stop. It’s got to stop! No bill no break! Give us a vote!”
“My friends and colleagues, I want to begin by again thanking John Lewis for bringing us together on the House floor today, to talk about one of the most critical issues facing our nation. I came to this body sixteen years ago, for the same reason that I believe we all came to this body, Democrats and Republicans, because I wanted to make sure that my children grew up in an America that was more prosperous, that was more safe, that had more opportunities than the country that I inherited. I wanted to be part of that compact for the next generation that I inherited from my parents.
“But we are at risk, my friends and colleagues, of passing on an America that is less safe for our children.
“Part of being a good Representative is to step in the shoes of our constituents. And just for a moment, I ask you to step in the shoes, the awful, painful shoes of those who lost these beautiful children. Imagine the horror of the calls they received, that there was a shooting at their child’s school. Imagine the dread that they felt before they knew the fate of their child. Because their child could be our child.
“This fall I had the wonderful experience of taking my daughter to visit colleges. And yet I had to think, ‘What are the chances of a shooting on this campus?’ That should not be a thought for any parent going through the pleasant duty of visiting schools with their child. For my middle school son, I had the conversation many parents have every time there’s a shooting, when he asks ‘Are we in danger? Could that happen here?’ And we want to say ‘no, that can’t happen here,’ but of course, it happens everywhere.
“It happens all over America. And it has got to stop. And so I’m so proud to join with all of you to bring about this extraordinary day in the life of this Congress.
“When John Conyers says, as the longest serving member of the House, he has never seen anything like this, that is saying something. And we have resorted to this extraordinary remedy, this in effect filibuster of the House, because we could not get the leadership of this body to even schedule a vote and why? Why? When we empathize with the parents of these children, why can we not get a vote in this body?
“And it is because the Republican leadership does not want to be held accountable. It is because of the stranglehold of an organization with three letters: NRA. It is the same organization that came to this body more than ten years ago and asked for something unthinkable! It asked for an immunity from liability that no other industry enjoys and it got it. Because this body and this leadership that occupies that chair will do anything the NRA asks. And that has got to stop. It’s got to stop! No bill no break! Give us a vote!”
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