Our show on Tuesday will examine the implications of the rebellions by Democrats in the Senate and House demanding voting on gun control measures. Since June 16th, there have been two significant disruptive protests in the Congress, a filibuster supported by 40 Democratic Senators for 15 hours in the Senate and on June 22nd a sit-in at the House of Representatives by 140 House Democrats which lasted 24 hours. Our guests will be renowned journalist Askia Muhammad, millennial political analyst Justin Arnwine and others.
After the Orlando Massacre in which 49 people were killed and scores wounded at a gay nightclub by a lone assassin using an AR-15 assault rifle, the leadership of the Congress had again, continuing a trend spanning several years, refused to allow votes in both chambers on various gun control measures. Unlike the polite speeches and letters of protest, this time the proponents of gun control took a different approach using rarely seen before open protests in the chambers of Congress. Senator Chris Murphy was the leader of the filibuster but was joined by Senator Cory Booker and Mark Blumenthal in standing alongside him for the full 15 hours. Importantly, Cory Booker, made the point over and over that gun control is not just about mass killings but also about the thousands of poor slain yearly in the streets of our inner cities.
The Senate filibuster was successful in forcing a vote on two measures but each was defeated on party lines.
In the house, the sit in was met by parliamentary procedures which resulted in a two day early adjournment for the July 4th recess without scheduling a vote. Democrats continued their protests for several hours before adjourning. They have promised to wage more disruptive protests when the House reconvenes. In the interim, a bi-partisan compromise has been offered in the House regarding the “no fly, no buy” legislation but there has been no agreement by the House leadership to allow a vote, and the measure is almost identical to the one voted down by the Senate. During the House sit-in there was a large spontaneous supportive rally by citizens that developed outside of Congress with a vigorous call in effort and social media explosion.
Did the Congressional Uprisings achieve meaningful action? Has the gun control movement gained new momentum? What can we expect when Congress returns? How will the sit-in affect Congressional operations? What about other issues like the Voting Rights Act restoration which the Congressional leadership has refused to move?
Be sure to join us on Tuesday for a very timely discussion!