Republicans representing the central San Joaquin Valley on Thursday ridiculed a daylong sit-in by Democratic lawmakers to demand a vote on gun control legislation.
Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Tulare, whose district includes Clovis, Tulare and Visalia, said in emailed statement: “Another jihadist massacred Americans, and these politicians respond by staging a sleepover in the Capitol.”
Nunes, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, added, “The media was really impressed with their resolve. I’m not sure how impressed ISIS was.”
On Thursday, Democrats ended their 25-hour sit-in calling for a vote on gun control legislation. Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., who has been a civil-rights activist for decades, launched the sit-in on Wednesday, and it drew around 170 Democrats.
In the aftermath of a mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., which left 49 victims dead, congressional Democrats demanded a vote on legislation that would bar people on the “no-fly list” from purchasing guns.
Democratic lawmakers took turns speaking on the House floor. Rep. Jim Costa, D-Fresno, mentioned the Tuesday night killing in southeast Fresno of toddler Rashad Halford Jr. in his remarks.
“Just last night in my district, a 20-month-old was shot and killed in front of his parents,” Costa said. “Fresno police Chief Jerry Dyer stated that a tragedy occurred in our city last night. Chief Dyer is absolutely right.”
“When will enough be enough?” Costa said on the House floor. “If now is not the time, then when is the time?”
But Rep. David Valadao, R-Hanford, said the sit-in was simply “theatrics” that did not face up to the real threat of terrorism.
He added that “ the right to own and purchase firearms is explicitly protected under the Second Amendment for all law-abiding Americans. The recent attempt by Washington liberals to capture a news cycle, and disrupt the business of the House of Representatives, is unfortunate.”
House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., referred to the sit-in as a “publicity stunt” in an interview on CNN.
“This isn’t trying to come up with a solution to a problem,” Ryan said during the interview. “This is trying to get attention.”