The House GOP’s plan for disciplining lawmakers following John Lewis’s gun sit-in

GOP leaders are looking to slap members of the House with fines and other penalties if they disrupt proceedings on the floor, a belated response to the sit-in led by Atlanta Democrat John Lewis earlier this year.

Under the proposed changes to the chamber’s rules being floated by Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., lawmakers would have their wages garnished by $500 for taking pictures, recording audio or video or streaming video on the House floor. Members would face a $2,500 wage garnishment for each additional offense.

The proposed changes, first reported by Bloomberg, also spell out what constitutes disorderly behavior on the floor, which the publication said could lead to potential referrals to the House Ethics Committee and sanctions against offending members.

GOP leaders have been under pressure to punish Democrats, including Lewis, for taking over House floor proceedings for nearly 26 hours in June to protest the lack of a vote on gun violence legislation. After Republicans declared a recess and shut off C-SPAN’s cameras, Democrats began live-streaming their colleagues’ speeches on social media, which gave their effort considerable attention.

Democrats were ultimately unsuccessful in their quest to compel Republican leaders to agree to votes on a pair of proposals to expand background checks for firearms and bar those on the terror watch list from buying guns. The GOP-led Senate rejected similar proposals earlier this year.

Ryan previously called the episode a “stunt,” citing a similar measure that was voted down in a key House committee in the days preceding the sit-in. He also pointed out an effort by the Democratic Party to fundraise off the events on the House floor.

The GOP’s tweaks to the House rules would apply to future breaches of decorum and not the June sit-in.

We’ve reached out to Lewis’ folks to see what they have to say about the proposed rules changes, but the longtime Atlanta congressman was unmoved by similar threats of discipline in the past.

“I’ve been punished on other occasions,” Lewis said in an interview in September. “And it makes it stronger.”

Other Democrats were defiant.

A spokesman for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., compared House Republicans to “handmaidens of the gun lobby.”

“Speaker Ryan can continue to shamefully ignore the calls for action from the American people but House Democrats will never stop speaking out against the daily tragedy of gun violence in this country,” Drew Hammill said in a statement.

Others took to social media:

Ryan spokeswoman AshLee Strong said the proposed changes “will help ensure that order and decorum are preserved in the House of Representatives so lawmakers can do the people’s work.”

House lawmakers will vote on the chamber’s rules for the new session shortly after the new Congress convenes on Jan. 3.

One thing worth noting about the proposed fines is that they come in the form of wage garnishment. Presumably, that’s intended to prevent acts of protests from becoming GoFundMe causes.

Insider’s note: This post was ripped and expanded from this morning’s Daily Jolt, which you can find here

More coverage of Lewis and Democrats’ sit-in: 

John Lewis shrugs as GOP promises punishment for sit-in

Republican leaders to ding Democrats over gun sit-in led by John Lewis

John Lewis and other Democrats face ethics complaint over sit-in

Democratic sit-in ends with no House votes promised on gun bills

‘Reliving my life’: John Lewis’ experience at heart of Capitol sit-in

 

Reader Comments 0

159 comments
Elizabeth Hopehoho Turner
Elizabeth Hopehoho Turner

FINE THEM---WE WILL ALL WRITE CHECKS. Somebody go start a Go Fund ME Page...we will pay it again and again to keep them sitting DOWN!

Gary Looper
Gary Looper

Punish?? Time for some new faces!!!!

Kelley Courington
Kelley Courington

Mr Mallory, you need not worry about being called names as you did that yourself!

Carroll Myers
Carroll Myers

The GOP is full of petty mean-spirited little-minded people.

John Kennedy
John Kennedy

Are the people in Decatur going to ever learn, He don't give a Rats a$$ about them!!

Steve Herring
Steve Herring

This isn't complicated people if the Democrats broke the rules they should be punished. The rules are for everyone.

Jimmy Traywick
Jimmy Traywick

John Lewis is the most Racist person in the state of Georgia. He represents Atlanta only, not the real Georgia.

Erik Moore
Erik Moore

A civil rights icon and international human rights hero - you sure that you just don't like black folks??

Frank Cicalese
Frank Cicalese

John Lewis's entire reputation is that he marched with Martin Luther King. PERIOD. HE's a political moron, a black racist, and a and an idiot on American History, except that history which he rewrote. Just imagine the mentality of the people who keep electing him. Yeah, these people actually vote.

Erik Moore
Erik Moore

He's considered an international human rights and civil rights icon. I think that you may be a bit off the mark here......millions agree with me....

Frank Cicalese
Frank Cicalese

WHat he's "considered", and what he actually is are two VERY different things. Consensus doesn't guaranty reality, it just means that "millions can agree, and STILL BE WRONG, or MISLEAD.

Joe Fincher
Joe Fincher

As they should. Acting like spoiled children will get you nowhere and the dems who did this should be ashamed. Obviously the American people disagree with their policies considering the trouncing they've had in the last decade.

Erik Moore
Erik Moore

No, 85% of Americans agree on background checks so that's why they were there. To express the views of the public that elected them...... The GOP actually refused to vote on an issue that is overwhelmingly supported by the people. They work for the NRA so they will never let the public speak. It's sad that you don't understand this and only support the GOP blindly without knowing the issues.

Ginny Hordines
Ginny Hordines

First amendment under attack by terrorist republicans

Judy Canup
Judy Canup

John Lewis needs to sit his butt down and shut up

Stephen Green
Stephen Green

That picture of John Lewis reminds me of something I just can't remember what it is

Nancy Archer
Nancy Archer

Both parties consist of a bunch of idiots...

Barbara Magnuson
Barbara Magnuson

Childish behavior should not be tolerated, these people have unlimited resources and opportunity to work within the framework of the House. That was unbecoming and just ridiculous!

Barbara Magnuson
Barbara Magnuson

Erik Moore it is different because it is grown people sitting around, many on the floor. That is fine for the high school gym, but inappropriate behavior for our elected officials in the House of Representatives! These people are adults not children in kindergarten!

Erik Moore
Erik Moore

Like the Benghazi¡ hearings or is this different because it's democrats?

Diana McGowan Pate
Diana McGowan Pate

They best thing that could be done for GA and America is to ELECT someone else to replace John Lewis.

Shirley Smith
Shirley Smith

There are house rules for a reason which is to conduct the sessions in an orderly manor. You can get your point across when its your time or yielded to you. I've sat in many meetings at the ga state house. Handled very professionally.

Starr Helton
Starr Helton

What happens when you don't get a turn? When the majority will not even allow a debate.

Shirley Smith
Shirley Smith

Starr Helton you don't disrupt the speeches. If everyone interrupted it would be too chaotic.

Rob Danner
Rob Danner

Louis walked on the bridge and got 50 years as a congressman

Erik Moore
Erik Moore

Well, he did a little more than that.....

Rick Richmond
Rick Richmond

Your elected officials but act like 5 year Olds you are supposed to be disciplined already. If you can't deal with it get out we want action not set ins. Do your jobs according to the constitution the doc you swore to uphold, protect , and serve

Doug Rogers
Doug Rogers

Will they discipline the members who obstructed the President? They were protesting a black man in their white House.

Steve DeWeil
Steve DeWeil

Is there a fine on the books for being galactically stupid? Seems like that should apply in this case.

Scoot Gallagher
Scoot Gallagher

Sadly no. If that were the case, Rep Johnson, of Guam might capsize fame, would be broke long ago!

Steve DeWeil
Steve DeWeil

Scoot Gallagher Even as a young child, I remember that being a joke when we lived on Guam. The joke was that Guam was a rock balanced between 2 mountain peaks and one day it was going to tip over and fall in. And people voted for this guy. Democrat of course.

Jeff Gibbs
Jeff Gibbs

John Lewis , should be in Chicago stopping the violence where the right to own guns has been taken away . Bye the way how is that going for you ?

Jeanette Vaughn Rogers
Jeanette Vaughn Rogers

THE DEMOCRATS ARE A BUNCH OF MORON, LOL THEY THROW A TANTRUM ON THE FLOOR OF CONGRESS LOL, THERE BIGOTS, HATES WHITE AMERICAN, WANTS TO DESTROY AMERICA AND WE THE AMERICAN PEOPLE PUT A STOP TO THERE AGENDA LOL.

Erik Moore
Erik Moore

^^^^ this says it all folks - MORANS! ^^^^

Brenda Bender
Brenda Bender

So they now want to take away freedom of speech. We will see how this plays out. Come the next election people may remember these things.