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 »
"Eight people were rescued and three remained missing after a U.S. Navy plane crashed into the western Pacific Ocean on Wednesday, the Navy said. The C-2 “Greyhound” transport aircraft came down about 500 nautical miles (925 kilometers) southeast of Okinawa as it was bringing passengers and cargo from Japan to the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier, the Navy said in a statement."
Special counsel Robert Mueller "is now demanding documents from the department overseeing his investigation." A source tells ABC News that "Mueller's investigators are keen to obtain emails related to the firing of FBI Director James Comey and the earlier decision of Attorney General Jeff Sessions to recuse himself from the entire matter."
"President Donald Trump would not insist on including repeal of an Obama-era health insurance mandate in a bill intended to enact the biggest overhaul of the tax code since the 1980s, a senior White House aide said on Sunday. The version of tax legislation put forward by Senate Republican leaders would remove a requirement in former President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law that taxes Americans who decline to buy health insurance."
"Members of Congress with histories of mistreating women should be extremely nervous. Major outlets, including CNN, are dedicating substantial newsroom resources to investigating sexual harassment allegations against numerous lawmakers. A Republican source told me he's gotten calls from well-known D.C. reporters who are gathering stories about sleazy members."