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 - Sponsored by AdvaMed - House panel expected to approve impeachment articles Thursday Warren, Buttigieg duke it out in sprint to 2020 The Memo: Pelosi-Trump trade deal provokes debate on left MORE (D-Mass.) marched with students and documented the rallies on her Twitter account. 

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Sen. Chris Van HollenChristopher (Chris) Van HollenGOP senator blocks bill aimed at preventing Russia election meddling Democrats rip Barr over IG statement: 'Mouthpiece' for Trump The Hill's Morning Report - Dem dilemma on articles of impeachment 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 TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - House panel expected to approve impeachment articles Thursday Democrats worried by Jeremy Corbyn's UK rise amid anti-Semitism Warren, Buttigieg duke it out in sprint to 2020 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 LewisIsakson talks up bipartisanship in Senate farewell speech Trump tax breaks for low-income neighborhoods draw scrutiny Democrats ramp up oversight efforts over 'opportunity zone' incentive 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 NelsonLobbying world Bottom Line Bottom Line 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 McCaskillGinsburg health scare raises prospect of election year Supreme Court battle MSNBC's McCaskill: Trump used 'his fat thumbs' to try to intimidate Yovanovitch GOP senator rips into Pelosi at Trump rally: 'It must suck to be that dumb' 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 ClintonDemocrats seek leverage for trial Davis: Trump vs. Clinton impeachments – the major differences Sharice Davids to vote for Trump impeachment articles: 'The facts are uncontested' 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 - Sponsored by AdvaMed - House panel expected to approve impeachment articles Thursday Democrats seek leverage for trial Democrats spend big to put Senate in play 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."