Dems planning protest as GOP looks to punish sit-ins: report

Dems planning protest as GOP looks to punish sit-ins: report
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House Democrats on Tuesday will protest GOP attempts at punishing future sit-ins on their chamber floor, Politico reported.

Dems are planning to display their phones and copies of the Constitution during a debate on a House rules package, the report said.

Tuesday’s demonstration is spearheaded by Reps. John Larson John Barry Larson Retirees should say 'no thanks' to Romney's Social Security plan The Hill's 12:30 Report: All eyes on Pelosi as calls for impeachment grow More Democrats threaten impeachment over Trump's dealings with Ukraine MORE (D-Conn.) and John LewisJohn LewisHouse passes bipartisan bill to create women's history museum NAACP to honor John Lewis 10 Democrats to boycott Trump State of the Union address MORE (D-Ga.), who organized last summer’s 25-hour sit-in over gun control.

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Larson announced the protest during a Democratic caucus call early Tuesday.

Republicans approved a rules package late Monday that included a proposal to fine House members up to $2,500 for taking photos or videos on the chamber’s floor — a response to the summer sit-in, where Democrats shared photos and live videos on social media after C-SPAN's cameras were turned off.

House Democrats are furious over the proposed rules change, arguing it silences members for expressing their opinions.

Representatives were already banned from taking photos or videos on the House floor, but the rule has been rarely enforced in the past.

Lawmakers could now face $500 fines for a first offense if Tuesday’s rule change is approved and $2,500 for subsequent violations.

The fines would come from offenders’ annual salaries and are one of two penalties meant to prevent future sit-ins.

A second measure would explicitly prohibit members and staffers from “intentionally obstructing or impeding the passage of other in the chamber.”

The change would also forbid “[using] an exhibit to impede, disrupt, or disturb the proceedings of the House." Violators in any circumstance would be referred to the House Ethics Committee.

Democrats commandeered the House floor for nearly 26 hours in June in the aftermath of a mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla.

The massacre killed 49 people and wounded more than 50 others, inspiring Democrats to push hard for new gun control measures afterwards.

Republicans ultimately moved forward on previously scheduled votes as the sit-in went on before adjourning early for the week.