WASHINGTON – House Democrats, stepping up their protests against President Donald Trump’s zero tolerance policy, resulting in the separation of children from the parents at the Mexican border, on Wednesday morning brought children under the age of 12 to the House floor to dramatize the heartbreaking crisis.
After a string of Democrat gave short speeches in the well of the House chamber, pleading with Trump to keep families together, Rep. Luis Gutierrez D-Ill., wrapped up, calling for children on the floor to join him.
Gutierrez was gaveled out-of-order for a “breach of decorum,” stemming from July 7, 2016 House rules prohibiting “exhibitions” in the well. After Gutierrez continued to speak, the House was declared in recess.
Before the children joined Gutierrez, he said in his remarks that at this “tragic moment” he was “proud to be an American” and of American “exceptionalism” as demonstrators across the nation were “standing up for moms and dads.”
Speaking earlier, Rep. Jan Schakowsky D-Ill., who brought two children to the floor said “I say to you, Mr. President, you can end this.”
House rules, tightened after a sit-in House Democrats staged to call attention to the lack of Congressional action on gun violence, allow a member to bring two children under the age of 12 on the floor.
This is just the latest move by House members to throw a spotlight on the unfolding consequences of the Trump actions. Last week, a group of House Democrats, including Gutierrez and Schakowsky blocked an entrance at the Customs and Border Control headquarters and then blocked traffic near the White House, with law enforcement authorities deciding not to arrest them.