As the sit-in held by House Democrats on the House of Representatives floor stretches into its second day, Westchester officials are weighing in on the organization’s inability to reach an agreement on gun control regulations.
On Wednesday morning, more than 100 Democrats sat-in on the House floor to insist that the House vote on gun control legislation, with the Republicans resisting a vote, and actually leaving Washington, D.C. until the next legislative vote on July 5.
Congresswoman Nita Lowey, who represents most of Westchester and all of Rockland, the ranking member of the House Appropriations Committee, said that it was inappropriate for the Republicans to adjourn the House and walk out with no legislative votes scheduled for two weeks.
“In the case of our steadfast protest, instead of putting meaningful gun legislation before Congress, Speaker Ryan adjourned the house for two weeks,” she stated. “And in that two weeks while the Republican Majority does nothing, we know that more preventable gun deaths will leave mothers, fathers, friends and loved ones grieving.
“We are not demanding acts of extraordinary heroism. We are asking to vote on sensible measures the vast majority of Americans support to keep people safer. Why would we continue to let terrorist suspects legally buy guns in America? Why can't people whose records look questionable wait a little longer before obtaining a deadly weapon?”
In the wake of multiple incidents involving firearms, Congressman Eliot Engel, who was one of the Democrats prominently featured on the floor, spoke to a crowd encouraging his colleagues to reach an agreement on gun control issues.
“I’m very proud to be part of this body, and I’ve never been more proud than I am now. I want to thank my colleagues here who are expressing their solidarity,” he said to the crowd. “In the past decade, 428 times as many Americans have been killed as opposed to terrorists.
“That is a shameful statistic. On the Foreign Affairs Committee, we often talk to other countries and they don’t understand why there are so many homicides in America. They cannot understand how easy it is to get guns in America.”
Many Democratic House members spent hours in the chamber, in an effort to force a vote on gun control following several controversial incidents in the past few weeks.