Lawmakers spotted at 'March for Our Lives' rallies across US

Lawmakers spotted at 'March for Our Lives' rallies across US

Democratic lawmakers turned out in force on Saturday as hundreds of thousands of protesters gathered in cities across the country to call for an end to gun violence.

At "March for Our Lives" rallies across the U.S., congressional Democrats joined in calls demanding swift action on gun control more than a month after a deadly school shooting in Parkland, Fla., lent momentum to the debate over firearms.

During stops in Boston, Springfield and Worcester, Mass., Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump says no legislation until Dems end probes Harris readies a Phase 2 as she seeks to rejuvenate campaign 2020 Dems put spotlight on disabilities issues MORE (D-Mass.) marched with students and documented the rallies on her Twitter account. 

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Sen. Chris Van HollenChristopher (Chris) Van HollenThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump says no legislation until Dems end probes Democrats grill Trump Interior chief for saying he hasn't 'lost sleep' over climate change On The Money: Judge upholds House subpoena for Trump financial records | Trump vows to appeal ruling by 'Obama-appointed judge' | Canada, Mexico lift retaliatory tariffs on US | IRS audit rate falls MORE (D-Md.) joined protesters on Saturday in Washington, the epicenter of the rallies, where he told The Hill that attendance topped that of President TrumpDonald John TrumpFeinstein, Iranian foreign minister had dinner amid tensions: report The Hill's Morning Report - Trump says no legislation until Dems end probes Harris readies a Phase 2 as she seeks to rejuvenate campaign MORE's inauguration.

"I can tell you for sure, it's larger than the Trump inauguration."

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), who attended rallies across Connecticut on Saturday, offered an assessment of the gun control movement, writing on Twitter that the current debate over firearm restrictions appeared poised to result in action. 

"This is what democracy looks like - and what America looks like, at its best. This time feels different, because activists across the nation were registering voters, not just making speeches. And they will vote," he said.

And in Atlanta, Rep. John LewisJohn LewisPelosi receives John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award Schumer calls on McConnell to hold vote on Equality Act House approves anti-LGBT discrimination Equality Act MORE (D-Ga.) touted his 'F' rating from the National Rifle Association (NRA), saying he would be happy to "flunk out of the NRA university over and over again."

"You know the NRA gave me an 'F,' and I'm proud, I'm proud to wear that 'F,' " he said. "So on the Democratic side of the House of Representatives, many members of Congress are wearing an 'F.' "

The "March for Our Lives" was planned by the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students who survived a shooting in February that left 17 dead and 14 others injured. 

Since then, lawmakers have found themselves on the receiving end of political pressure from students, who have emerged as some of the most vocal advocates for tightening gun restrictions.

Sen. Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonRepublicans amp up attacks on Tlaib's Holocaust comments The muscle for digital payment Rubio says hackers penetrated Florida elections systems MORE (D-Fla.), who is facing a potentially tough reelection bid this year, appeared at the march in Washington on Saturday, where he vowed to push for universal background checks for gun buyers and crack down on assault-style weapons like the one used to carry out the attack in Parkland.

"I'm marching for everyone that has had their lives cut short or forever changed by gun violence. I'm marching for the children who are too young to go to school yet. And I'm marching for everyone who doesn’t want to live in fear," Nelson tweeted. "I'm marching for their lives."

Sen. Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillLobbying world Big Dem names show little interest in Senate Gillibrand, Grassley reintroduce campus sexual assault bill MORE (D-Mo.), who is also facing reelection in a state won by Trump in 2016, turned out to a march in St. Louis, where she praised turnout among young people. 

"So many people. So much passion. Honored to be part of it. Proud of all the young people whose voices are rising," she wrote on Twitter.

The protests on Saturday were bolstered by some of the Democratic Party's most recognizable voices, notably former President Obama, who tweeted a message of solidarity for students participating in the marches.

"Michelle and I are so inspired by all the young people who made today’s marches happen," he wrote. "Keep at it. You’re leading us forward. Nothing can stand in the way of millions of voices calling for change." 

Former Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonHarris readies a Phase 2 as she seeks to rejuvenate campaign Nevada Senate passes bill that would give Electoral College votes to winner of national popular vote 2020 Dems break political taboos by endorsing litmus tests MORE also weighed in on the "March for Our Lives," praising the student-led efforts as a "reminder of what is possible when our future is in the right hands."

"Listening to the students from Parkland and across the country today is a reminder of what is possible when our future is in the right hands, and when we match inspiration with determination," she tweeted.

And former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump says no legislation until Dems end probes Harris readies a Phase 2 as she seeks to rejuvenate campaign 2020 Dems put spotlight on disabilities issues MORE, a potential contender for the White House in 2020, surprised rallygoers at a "March for Our Lives" event in his home state of Delaware. He delivered remarks at a protest in Wilmington, where he praised students for resurfacing the debate over gun control. 

"What's happening now is you're ripping the Band-Aid off," he said. "You're forcing people to look squarely in the eye what they don't want to face."