House Votes $1.1 billion in Zika funding and Adjourns

Time: 11:48 a.m. CEST

Republicans controlled the House of Representatives approved $1.1 billion in Zika funding and adjourns. The National Public Radio reports that Republicans passed a funding measure for Zika and left for the July 4 recess after they pay less attention the sit-in of the House Democrats that has lasted 15 hours, trying to persuade the Republicans to vote on a gun control measures. The Democrats continue with the sit-in even at this hour.

House of Representative adjourns and TV/C-Span broadcast from the Capitol building returns shortly after 3:00 a.m. ET in the Washington D.C. House Republicans adjourned early Thursday for a recess that will last until July 5. Prior to recess, guns control legislation confrontations brought the Democrats and Republicans into a standoff on the House floor, literally. About 30 Democratic members of the United States House of Representatives staged a sit-in on the House floor on Wednesday. Democrats, led by civil rights icon John Lewis, took control of the chamber Wednesday morning “demanding a vote on gun control legislation,” CNN reported.

The tension rose when after 10:00 p.m. ET, Republican Speaker Paul Ryan tried to make an order into the chamber for a procedural vote on issue of non-importance. While Ryan attempted to make an order, Democrats hold signs with names of gun victims stayed in the House with chants, “no bill, no break,” and “shame, shame, shame.” Some Democrats even sang the protest anthem “We shall overcome.” However, Speaker Ryan “declined to enforce the traditional order in the House,” CNN adds.

On Wednesday, presumptive Republican candidate for president Donald Trump and Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton exchanged insults, but CNN says the sit-in shifted the attention on Capitol Hill. There, lawmakers missed the chance to act on gun control bills.

John Lewis, an iconic civil-rights activist from the 1960s-era, refused to remain silent and promptly said, “

“We’re going to continue to sit in and sit down,” he said Wednesday night. “By sitting in and sitting down, we’re standing up.”

President Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton encouraged the sit-in action. “Thank you John Lewis for leading on gun violence where we need it most,” Obama tweeted. Clinton tweeted “This is leadership” and linking to Lewis’ tweet about the sit-in. The White House spokesman Josh Earnest who was awake and it was following the actions in the House said the lawmakers participating in the sit-in “where showing the kind of ‘frustration and even anger that people around the country have about the inability of the Republican-led Congress to take common sense steps that would protect the American people.”

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said the Democrats would continue the sit-in “until we have a bill.” By Wednesday night, Democrats were digging in for the long haul and discussing the potential of remaining on the floor through Friday. The U.S. House controls the cameras on its floor, and there was no live video footage during the sit-in, which happened during the House recess.

But, many of the lawmakers tweeted images or streamed live video via smartphones. In the absence of the broadcasting, C-SPAN, CNN and other cable channels tapped into the congressional Periscope and Facebook Live streams in ways that weren’t possible a decade ago, CNN Money says. Lawmakers used Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter. Periscope application  received the most media attention during the sit-in, something of importance for the app’s owner Twitter (TWTR, Tech30).

CNN reports that asked what would happen if Republican leaders turn off the lights in the chamber, Illinois Rep. Jan Schakowsky simply replied, “It will be dark.”



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