Asian American lawmakers among House sit-ins over gun vote

Asian American political leaders are among the lawmakers who are staging a sit-in on the floor of the U.S. House Wednesday to demand a vote on gun control legislation, chanting, “No bill, no break!”

Reps. Grace Meng, Judy Chu, Tammy Duckworth, Doris Matsui, Bobby Scott and Ami Bera joined their fellow Democrats in taking over the floor after Rep. John Lewis called for his colleagues to unite after a regular legislative session earlier in the day. The sit-in follows the deadliest mass shooting in history, in which 49 lost their lives at a Orlando gay nightclub on June 12.

“When 49 people were murdered in Orlando and nothing was done about it, and the only response were moments of silence, well, so many of us said, ‘Enough is enough.’ We have to do something about this,” Chu told MSNBC, from the floor.

Sen. Mazie Hirono, who brought snacks to her House colleagues, wrote in a note she later uploaded to Twitter: “We’re standing (sitting) in solidarity with you. No vote, no break!”

Plans for the sit-in began last week when Rep. Katherine Clark approached Lewis about making a move to push Congress to act on gun control, the Atlantic reported. In a letter sent to House Speaker Paul Ryan, 19 lawmakers wrote that they “stand together in our refusal to sit by while this Congress abdicates its fundamental responsibility to protect American families from harm. … Until then, we are resolved and committed to speaking out for victims, survivors, and families at home who deserve a vote.”

According to the Washington Post, House sit-ins are a rarity that have happened only twice since the 1970s.

Asian American congress members tweeted: