Democrats Protest on House Floor After Moment of Silence for Orlando Victims

The fight erupted over gun control.

ByABC News
June 13, 2016, 10:17 PM

— -- House Democrats criticized Republican leaders Monday evening for not taking action on gun control measures following a moment of silence for the victims of the Orlando nightclub shooting.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, led the chamber through a moment of silence for the 49 victims of the attack, which several Democrats protested by walking out of the chamber -- including Rep Jim Himes, D-Connecticut.

Following the remembrance, House Democratic Whip Jim Clyburn, D-South Carolina, tried asking Ryan about the status of several Democratic gun control measures, which have stalled in the GOP-led Congress.

The Wisconsin Republican ruled Clyburn's question out of order, and asked the House Clerk to continue to the evening's final vote, which Democrats protested.

“Members have just had enough of having a moment of silence on the floor and take no action,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-California, said to reporters after the vote.

Clyburn said he was inquiring with the Speaker ahead of the one-year anniversary of the Charleston church shooting this week.

“For this House to remain silent...for us to be silent when these things happen rather than fashioning some legislative response, to me, is just not good,” Clyburn said after votes.

Clyburn said he did not agree with some Democrats' decision to walkout of the chamber during the moment of silence, and said he asked several not to do so, including Himes.

“I think that it was a much more effective thing to raise this issue on the floor,” he said.

Himes did end up walking off the floor, according to an aide, as did several other members.

"It's shameful that anyone would try to use a moment of silence honoring victims of a brutal terrorist attack to advance their own political agenda," Ryan spokeswoman AshLee Strong said in a statement about the exchange on the House floor.