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Rep. DeFazio On The House Democrats’ Sit In

Rep. Suzanne Bonamici via Associated Press

Wednesday House Democrats spontaneously staged a sit in on the floor of Congress demanding a vote on gun control legislations. KLCC spoke with Oregon congressman and Democrat, Peter DeFazio, who joined his colleagues in protest.

The representative from Oregon’s 4th district says House Democrats want a vote on background checks and preventing those on the terror watch list from buying guns.

DeFazio: “We believe strongly, and as it appears in polling so do the American people, that we should have a system of universal background checks before you can buy a firearm.”

DeFazio says the demonstration was not organized; instead, it was started impulsively by Representative John Lewis of Georgia.

DeFazio: “And he just had enough, and he decided with one other member, Katherine Clark from Massachusetts, just on their own yesterday to go to the floor and sit in, and then we started getting text messages ‘hey, we’re having a sit in on the floor.’ It was very much a spontaneous and unprecedented event in the house of representatives.”

DeFazio says the mood on the floor was intense.

The Democrats ended their sit in after 25 ½ hours—but DeFazio says he doesn’t think they’ll just stand by meekly when the house returns from break. He says, while there are no official plans yet, the Democrats are working on what comes next.