Bernie Sanders Joined The House Sit-In & Got A Standing Ovation
He might have missed last week's filibuster in the Senate, but Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders attended Wednesday's Democratic sit-in at the House of Representatives, showing his support for the gun control action that House Democrats want to take. Although the demonstration took place on the floor of the House of Representatives, Sanders wasn't the only senator to stop by.
The sit-in began Wednesday morning, when several Democratic representatives, led by John Lewis of Georgia, took to the House floor, literally. More than eight hours later, the representatives were still occupying the floor. Those participating have vowed to stay put until Republicans allow the House to take action on gun control measures proposed by Democrats in the wake of this month's tragic shooting in Orlando.
Sanders arrived at the sit-in at around 4:30 p.m., according to The Atlantic. Upon entering the House chambers, he was introduced by a fellow member of Congress as "a person who has inspired an entire nation." He received a standing ovation and shook hands with participants, although he did not appear to make any remarks. That's not entirely surprising, considering he's a senator, not a representative.
On social media, reactions to Sanders' appearance were divided. Some praised him for showing up, particularly after he didn't show up to last week's filibuster in the senate. The filibuster served the same purpose as Wednesday's sit-in — to pressure Congress into taking action on gun control — and it took place in Sanders' own realm of the legislature, where he could have address his fellow senators, and the nation, on his perspective.
Others took to social media to criticize Sanders for not doing enough to support the sit-in. According to several tweets, Sanders left shortly after arriving and did not show the same level of support as other senators who dropped by. Speaking of those other senators ...
Many familiar faces showed up at Wednesday's sit-in, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut. Murphy led last week's Senate filibuster, holding the floor for nearly 15 hours. During that time, he did not leave the room, sit, or yield the floor, except to take so-called questions from his fellow senators. "I think this is reflective of a public mood that has just had enough," Murphy told MSNBC from the House on Wednesday.
Since launching his presidential campaign, Sanders hasn't spent much time on Capitol Hill. When he stopped by on Wednesday, his appearance in the House of Representatives was perhaps more symbolic than anything else, as he entered a room full of his congressional colleagues fighting for change. Nonetheless, the unconventional demonstration continued into Wednesday evening, hours after Sanders had departed.