The political strategy behind the 'No Bill, No Break' guns sit-in

House Democrats are heading into a July 4th  recess after ending a day-long sit-in on the House floor to protest their Republican colleagues’ refusal to bring a gun bill to a vote.

Staked out on the floor of the House for the past 24-hours, House Democrats are asking for a vote on a version of the bill their counterparts in the Senate voted on last week that summarily failed to pass. House Republicans are refusing to bring the so-called “No Fly, No Buy” bill to a vote because they argue the murky nature of how individuals end up on the no-fly list robs them of their due process and it would be unconstitutional to also.

But critics on both sides wonder what the utility is in a pushing a House bill that more than likely to fail, and as Republicans point out, wouldn’t have done anything to prevent the Orlando shooter from murdering 49 people at an LGBT nightclub.

Still others argue the Democrats are playing the long game; if they can take the social media footage of the sit-in back to their districts and use it as a tool against Republicans in other House races this fall, they may be able to shift the balance of power in the House and Senate to be slightly more conducive to their party passing legislation.


Chris Anders, Deputy Director in the Washington Legislative Office of the American Civil Liberties Union

David Hawkings, Long-time reporter with CQ Roll Call