Members of the House Republican Conference are furious at Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R.-Wis.) after they were forced to sidelines for more than nine hours while House Democrats staged a college-style sit-in in the House chamber to demand restrictions on gun rights.
“Ryan was so weak, he just let them take over,” a Capitol Hill source told Breitbart News.
The speaker and other members of his leadership team were off Capitol Hill, when the protest began because he was scheduled to make remarks at the American Enterprise Institute, where he shared his plans for healthcare reform in 2017.
“Nobody locked the doors, nobody shut off the lights and nobody did anything to keep food off the floor or to keep people from coming and going,” the source said. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D.-Mass.) brought doughnuts and coffee to her House colleagues, including Rep. John Lewis (D.-Ga.).
The House was gaveled out of session, so the feed to C-SPAN was cut from the control board in the House Recording Studio. House But Democrats have live-streamed their protest using Periscope, a social media platform owned by Twitter — even though the use of Periscope is also against House rules.
The source said none of the GOP members wanted arrests. But Ryan should done something to end the sit-in, short of having people forcibly removed.
In 2008, Republicans protested when Democrats, led by then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.), adjourned the House without granting a floor vote on offshore drilling. When Republicans then refused to leave the House floor, Pelosi ordered the lights and microphones off and cut off the video and audio feed to C-SPAN.
When reporters refused to leave the House Press Gallery, where they were watching the action, Pelosi order the Capitol Hill Police to remove the reporters from the gallery.