Politics

Democrats 'Not Worried' About Punishment for House Sit-In, Hoyer Says

McCarthy says 'appropriate measure' is coming soon

Indiana Rep. André Carson conducted an interview via FaceTime on the East Front of the Capitol after House Democrats ended their sit-in in June. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republicans may soon take action to condemn or punish Democrats for breaking House rules during a June sit-in on the floor to protest gun violence, but Democrats are not fretting about it, House Minority Leader Steny H. Hoyer said Tuesday. 

"I don't know what they're investigating, but in any event, I don't think we're worried," the Maryland Democrat said. 

Democrats held the House floor for more than 25 hours in June to push for votes on gun control legislation following the mass shooting at an Orlando, Florida, nightclub. Republicans said the sit-in violated House rules of decorum and set a bad precedent for the institution.

[ Key Moments in the House Sit-In on Guns ]  

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy told reporters Tuesday that an investigation into the sit-in is coming to a close and that appropriate action will follow.  

"There are numerous rules that were broken," the California Republican said. "It's not the way our democracy works. And I think you will see appropriate measure taken in the very near future."

McCarthy did not specify what rules Democrats broke or what action would be taken against them.

[GOP Explores Possible Action Against Democrats Over Sit-In]

Democrats have acknowledged that some lawmakers broke a rule prohibiting members and staff from recording video on the House floor, but it's unclear if there will be sanctions related to those specific incidents. 

Also unclear is whether there is any evidence supporting Republican claims that the Democrats mistreated floor staff, and whether there will be punishments for any individual members found to have been involved. 

Hoyer said neither McCarthy nor the House sergeant-at-arms has spoken with him about an investigation or any action that may be taken against House Democrats. 

However, McCarthy said he has had "a number of discussions" with Democrats who admitted to violating House rules and say they're prepared to sustain whatever punishment is due.

"In a very friendly manner," he said, "we talked and they said, 'You know what, it's true we broke rules and we should be held accountable. We think the institution is stronger for that.'"

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