Remember that dog and pony show earlier this year when Democrats staged a sit-in on the House floor to protest the lower chamber’s refusal to vote on pointless and ineffective gun-control legislation?
Well, those types of foolish stunts will no longer be permitted if House Speaker Paul Ryan has his way.
Last week, Ryan put forth a resolution that would whack disruptors and agitators of House proceedings with fines and potential ethics violations.
Under the new proposal, those lawmakers who use electronic devices for still photography, audio or visual recording, or broadcasting on the House floor will face a fine of $500 for a first offense. Subsequent offenses will carry a fine of $2,500.
“These changes will help ensure that order and decorum are preserved in the House of Representatives so lawmakers can do the people’s work,” AshLee Strong, a spokesman for Ryan, said in an e-mailed statement to Bloomberg News.
Looks like if lawmakers want to hold a pity party on the House floor and broadcast it on social media, it’s going to come with a real cost — as it should.
Naturally, Dems were butthurt by Ryan’s attempt to lay down the law and put an end to the nonsense.
“Sadly, the first action of the new Congress will be the passage of rules changes targeting Democratic Members who participated in the 25-hour sit-in following the horrific Pulse shooting in Orlando that killed 49 and wounded more than 50,” said Drew Hammill, spokesman for Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, in a statement.
“House Republicans continue to act as the handmaidens of the gun lobby refusing to pass sensible, bipartisan legislation to expand background checks and keep guns out of the hands of terrorists,” Hammill continued.
At the end of the day, lawmakers are public servants voted into office to do a job. When they fail to do their job (like protect and defend the Constitution) or they contravene Congressional protocols and procedures to prevent others from doing their job, they should face a stiff penalty. Viewed in this light, Ryan’s proposal is nothing more than a sensible response to Democratic shenanigans.