D.C. Protesters Clash With Democratic Senators Outside the Capitol

Protesters urge Congress to end the federal government shutdown on Oct. 9 on Capitol Hill.
National Journal
Michael Catalini
Oct. 9, 2013, 8:44 a.m.

Wav­ing posters and chant­ing “Free D.C.,” a crowd call­ing for the gov­ern­ment to re­open on the Cap­it­ol’s East Front tried to in­ter­rupt a Sen­ate Demo­crat­ic news con­fer­ence Wed­nes­day. 

Thirty-five Demo­crat­ic law­makers stood on the Cap­it­ol’s steps and re­it­er­ated their now-fa­mil­i­ar de­mands to Re­pub­lic­ans. While some of the pro­test­ers in­ter­viewed said they blamed the GOP, and not Demo­crats, the scene made for an awk­ward jux­ta­pos­i­tion. 

At one point, D.C. May­or Vin­cent Gray walked slowly from the site of the protest at the area known as the Sen­ate Swamp, to­ward the sen­at­ors. There was a brief mo­ment of ten­sion, be­cause it was un­clear what Gray would say or wheth­er he in­ten­ded to in­ter­rupt, but Sen­ate Ma­jor­ity Lead­er Harry Re­id, D-Nev., smiled at Gray, stretched out his hand, and wel­comed him onto the steps. 

Leroy Thorpe, a North­w­est res­id­ent and gov­ern­ment so­cial work­er who’s lived in Wash­ing­ton since 1980, said he wants to see Con­gress re­open the gov­ern­ment im­me­di­ately. Oth­ers near him nod­ded in as­sent. “I think we need to stop the grid­lock,” he said. “I think the Re­pub­lic­ans are hold­ing the na­tion host­age and hurt­ing a lot of people.” 

Demo­crats took the op­por­tun­ity to re­ject the House’s so-called mini-con­tinu­ing res­ol­u­tions and asked for their col­leagues to ad­opt their CR. 

“The whole gov­ern­ment needs to be open,” said Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va.

The dis­trict’s sole rep­res­ent­at­ive in Con­gress also ad­dressed the crowd of pro­test­ers, telling them that if they wanted to speak to law­makers, they should enter the Cap­it­ol or of­fice build­ings. “I don’t think I need to tell you all what you need from sen­at­ors,” Del­eg­ate Elean­or Holmes Norton of the Dis­trict of Columbia told the pro­test­ers. “Out here we’re talk­ing to ourselves, but if they hear dir­ectly from you, that makes some dif­fer­ence.” 

What We're Following See More »
STAYING RELEVANT TIL 2020?
Rubio May Run for Reelection After All
9 hours ago
WHY WE CARE
SOCIAL ISSUES ROIL CONGRESS AGAIN
LGBT Amendment Sinks Energy and Water Approps
11 hours ago
THE LATEST

The House voted down the otherwise uncontroversial Energy and Water appropriations bill Thursday after Democrats succeeded in attaching an amendment affirming LGBT job discrimination protections for military contractors. More than 40 Republicans supported the amendment, but when it came to vote on the bill, 130 Republicans joined all but six Democrats to sink the bill. Speaker Paul Ryan said Democrats voting against the bill after securing the amendment shows their intention was to scuttle the process. Democrats, however, blamed other so-called poison-pill amendments for their votes against the bill. Nonetheless, Ryan said he intends to continue the appropriations process.

AKNOWLEDGING THE INEVITABLE
UAW: Time to Unite Behind Hillary
12 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"It's about time for unity," said UAW President Dennis Williams. "We're endorsing Hillary Clinton. She's gotten 3 million more votes than Bernie, a million more votes than Donald Trump. She's our nominee." He called Sanders "a great friend of the UAW" while saying Trump "does not support the economic security of UAW families." Some 28 percent of UAW members indicated their support for Trump in an internal survey.

Source:
AP KEEPING COUNT
Trump Clinches Enough Delegates for the Nomination
14 hours ago
THE LATEST

"Donald Trump on Thursday reached the number of delegates needed to clinch the Republican nomination for president, completing an unlikely rise that has upended the political landscape and sets the stage for a bitter fall campaign. Trump was put over the top in the Associated Press delegate count by a small number of the party's unbound delegates who told the AP they would support him at the convention."

Source:
TRUMP FLOATED IDEA ON JIMMY KIMMEL’S SHOW
Trump/Sanders Debate Before California Primary?
15 hours ago
THE LATEST
×