House Speaker Paul Ryan sent lawmakers packing for the holiday break early Thursday morning after a raucous, hours-long sit-in waged by congressional Democrats failed to force a vote on gun control measures.
As Ryan decried the protest as a "publicity stunt" -- complete with loud chants and blankets and live-streaming -- Democrats claimed they nevertheless had made "some progress" on the issue.
The House adjourned around 3:15 a.m. ET Thursday, and even as Republicans left the buildings, some Democrats stayed on the House floor repeating their chant “No bill no break!” and waving papers with the names of gun victims written in black. Rep. Maxine Waters of California said she was ready to stay “until Hell freezes over.” A core group still lingered on the House floor wrapped in blankets and resting on pillows.
Still, the scene was beginning to wind down after Republicans held a final vote on the Zika response and, save for a short upcoming session, sent lawmakers home until July 5.
Democrats declared success in dramatizing the arguments for action to stem gun violence, despite the failure to conjure a vote.