House Republicans passed new rules Tuesday to fine members for taking pictures or video from the chamber floor. The move was intended to discourage Democrats from carrying out another protest similar to their gun control sit-in last year, during which they used photos and video taken from the House floor to press for gun control votes on social media. Prior to the adoption of the new rules, however, a number of Democrats kicked off the 115th Congress by taking photos from the floor in protest.
As Roll Call reports, Democrats on the House floor took photographs on January 3 before any new rules regarding the fines were adopted. Representative Jackie Speier (D-CA-14) even photographed Republican Representatives, then tweeted the photo:
— Jackie Speier (@RepSpeier) January 3, 2017
Representative Jared Huffman (D-CA-2) tweeted a photo with other members, protesting the “draconian GOP rules change” before it went into effect:
— Jared Huffman (@JaredHuffman) January 3, 2017
The Washington Examiner quoted Ryan spokeswoman AshLee Strong saying, “These changes will help ensure that order and decorum are preserved in the House of Representatives so lawmakers can do the people’s work.”
While it was already against House rules to take photos on the floor, not fines were imposed. A lawmaker caught now will face a $500 fine – $2,500 for repeat offenses.
Every Democrat voted against the fines and every Republican but three voted for them.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of “Bullets with AWR Hawkins,” a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.