Appearing on CBS This Morning, DNC Chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) said that the Democrats’ sit-in strategy was essentially to remain on the House floor until they get to vote on gun control legislation, despite the fact that Congress is in recess.
Congressional Democrats, led by Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), decided on Wednesday morning to relive the 1960s by staging an unprecedented sit-in on the House floor in an effort to convince the GOP leadership to hold a vote on a gun control bill that had already been defeated in the Senate.
Wasserman Schultz spoke with CBS This Morning hosts Charlie Rose and Norah O’Donnell as the protest dragged on into its second day:
“Rose: Tell me what the strategy is right now.
Wasserman Schultz: You know, the strategy is that we’re at a point in the year where we’ve had more than 100 mass shootings in this country and countless numbers of times that members of Congress, from the cities across this country in which those shootings have taken place, have stood on the House floor in the well and asked for a moment of silence, and the thoughts and prayers of our colleagues. Well, thoughts and prayers aren’t good enough anymore. We have to act. We have an obligation to make sure that the legacy of those children who were killed—
Rose: So help us understand what the strategy is. How long will you be there? What’s the strategy? How will you measure what you can accomplish?
Wasserman Schultz: Well, we are going to hold the floor of the House of Representatives. We are in our 19th hour, until we can get the majority to do their jobs and give us a vote. It is a cowardly act that they haven’t allowed a vote.
O’Donnell: But Congresswoman, hasn’t Congress adjourned? Hasn’t the Speaker adjourned Congress and said you can go home until after the July 4th holiday?
Wasserman Schultz: He has, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t continue and we will continue to shine a spotlight on this issue. The fact that the Republicans in the majority will not allow a vote on bills that would simply say ‘if you are suspected of terrorism, if you are on the terrorist watch list, if you are on the no-fly list in this country, then you should not be able to buy a gun.'”
One of the reasons the “No fly, no buy” bill failed was because the watch list is very arbitrary and contains names of people who are not threats—like The Weekly Standard’s Stephen Hayes, who was added to the list apparently because he took a trip to Turkey with his wife a few years ago. Another reason is that preventing people from buying a gun simply because they were placed on this list denies them “due process,” which is guaranteed under the Constitution.
That is of little consequence to Democrats like Wasserman Schultz and Rep. Lewis, who are determined to restrict gun rights of all Americans.
To politicize this event even further, the DCCC sent out an email fundraiser on the sit-in telling supporters that “We’re fighting to prevent gun violence,” and that “The Republicans refuse to lift a finger. It’s shameful. I need your help to defeat them once and for all.”
What is shameful are the Democrats who have behaved childishly by staging the sit-in, which wound up being a complete failure since they didn’t win any of the concessions they demanded from the GOP leadership before ending the whole charade this afternoon.