During the extended takeover of the House floor by Democrats, a Texas congressman rushed to the well of the chamber to challenge taunts from Democrats that the Republicans are both cowards and responsible for the spree-shooting massacre in Orlando.
“Radical Islam killed those poor innocent victims! Radical Islam killed those poor innocent victims!” said Rep. Louie Gohmert (R.-Texas) pointing to a placard with the faces of the 49 victims killed June 12 by a Omar Mateen at Orlando’s Pulse, a gay nightclub. Some of the victims and more than 50 survivors were shot by police officers, but the details have not been released.
— Michelle Malkin (@michellemalkin) June 23, 2016
At the time, Rep. Brad Sherman (D.-Calif.) was speaking and he called out one of the Republican congressmen still on the House floor after the chamber had been gaveled into recess: “Why is the gentleman afraid to hear me speak?”
Sherman made several taunts suggesting that the Republicans were cowards afraid of taking a vote in the minutes before Gohmert charged into the camera shot of Rep. Scott Peters (D.-Calif.), whose Periscope live-stream feed was being picked up by C-SPAN.
As Gohmert confronted the Democrats in the chamber’s well, other Democrats swarmed to the scene as did a group of Republicans in a scene that could only be described as a clearing of the dugouts. Rep. Steve King (R.-Iowa) was there and someone was calling out: “Billy, Billy, Separate them, Billy.” Most likely, “Billy” was Rep. Bill Flores (R.-Texas), the chairman of the Republican Study Committee, which for many years was the considered the conservative bloc in the House.
House Democrats swarmed the House floor Wednesday shortly before 11:30 a.m., and except for three minutes at 12 noon and for the 20 minutes, for a 15-minute and five-minute votes after 10 p.m., they did not give it back. Despite the Democrats’ rowdy behavior and over-the-top rhetoric, Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R.-Wis.) left the lights on, allowed Democrats to come and go, on and off the House floor and made no effort to keep food and drink off the House floor or to clear the House Press and Visitors Galleries.
Another Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R.-Tenn.) posted on Facebook shortly after midnight that there was a crowd of protesters outside the Capitol shouting “Shame on you” and other derogatory chants. “These protestors, I’m sure many are paid.”