Democrats began a sit-in on the floor of the House of Representatives Wednesday morning demanding a vote on gun violence legislation.
Memphis Congressman Steve Cohen is among the group demanding House Speaker Paul Ryan to keep the House in session through its planned recess to debate and vote on gun legislation.
The group is specifically calling for for expanded background checks and preventing gun sales to suspected terrorists.
After a mass shooting in an Orlando night club left 49 victims dead last week, the Senate debated but failed to pass four proposals to curb gun violence. In a letter to Speaker Ryan, the group of House Democrats said “our country cannot afford to stand by while this Congress continues to be paralyzed by politics.”
“There is a broad agreement among Americans — greater than 90 percent by some measures — that expanding background checks for firearms purchases is a reasonable measure for this Congress to pass,” the letter reads. “An overwhelming majority also agree that we should enact safety measures that keep guns out of the hands of suspected terrorists. The question before us is, what is this Congress waiting for?”
The Democrats say that paths to a solution will be “arduous” but that the Congress can no longer afford inaction. They again urged Ryan to keep the House in session to debate and vote on legislation.
“Until then, we are resolved and committed to speaking for victims, survivors, and families at home who deserve a vote,” the letter says. “We are prepared to continue standing on the House floor whenever the House is in session to assist you in bringing these bills to a vote.”