House Speaker Paul Ryan says it’s leadership’s job to “protect the institution,” but he was vague on Wednesday about what sorts of punishment Democrats who held a 25-hour sit-in to protest lack of action on gun control will face.
“It’s our job to protect this institution so that democracy can work, so that this republic can function, and so that the House of Representatives can get its job done. And also so that we have comity here, so that Republicans and Democrats can actually talk with one another, and be reasonable with one another,” Ryan said.
During the protest in June, dozens of Democrats sat on the House floor, chanting and yelling when Republicans attempted to move on to business. “You’ll see what we have when we have it, and you’ll see it when we do something about it,” Ryan said when asked what form the punishment might take.
House Republican leaders are considering several potential penalties, including voting on a resolution that condemns the sit-in or leveling fines for rule violations.
Ryan also expressed exasperation with Senate Democrats, who have blocked a one-point-one billion dollar plan to combat the Zika virus. “Look, give me a break on this thing,” the Wisconsin Republican said, noting that the House “did the responsible thing,” by passing the funding package before Congress left Washington for the July recess. “I think they’re just being wholly partisan with these filibusters.”
Senate Democrats demand that Republicans drop an effort to block Planned Parenthood from receiving money to combat the mosquito-borne disease.