Dems gather on House floor to call for gun control votes
© Lauren Schneiderman

Nearly a dozen House Democrats gathered at the center of the House floor on Wednesday to call for gun control legislation, but they stopped short of launching another sit-in like the one that shut down the chamber’s proceedings this summer.

Democrats made a show Wednesday of delivering floor speeches to push for votes on gun control bills as House GOP leaders move toward formally rebuking them in the coming days for their late June protest.

Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), a civil rights icon and leader of the nearly 26-hour sit-in, called Wednesday for votes on gun control measures before Congress adjourns this month until after Election Day.

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“The people demand that we act and that we act now — not next week, next month or next year, but now — before we leave and go home,” Lewis said, surrounded by 10 other House Democrats.

Lewis then stood silently for about 15 seconds, until the five minutes allotted for his speech expired. He yielded back his time, unlike at the start of the sit-in, when House Republicans put the chamber into recess and shut off the cameras while Democrats were still speaking.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said last week that she expected the GOP to unveil a punishment measure, likely a resolution rebuking the tactics used in the sit-in, sometime this week. So far, a resolution has not emerged.

House Republicans have wanted to punish Democrats in some form for breaking House rules. They say the incident could set a dangerous precedent.

Democrats, meanwhile, remain defiant and stand by their decision to launch the sit-in, which occurred shortly after the June mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla.