While talk over the government shutdown and the debt ceiling raged inside the Capitol, outside a number of Democratic lawmakers were getting arrested in what they dubbed as an act of civil disobedience.
Reps. Luis Gutierrez, Keith Ellison, Joseph Crowley, Al Green, and John Lewis were among the arrested, as crowds bellowed Si se puede! The arrested, including other protesters, were led away in zip-wire handcuffs by Capitol Police, which have been on the job but forgoing pay since the government shut down. It was all a planned portion of a massive immigration rally that began on the National Mall on Tuesday morning. Organizers estimated 20,000 protesters attended at the peak of the rally.
The lawmakers will each need to post a $50 fine, and there will likely be an Ethics Committee report generated as a result of the incident, according to one aide. The exact reason for their arrests is not yet known.
House Democrats introduced last week an immigration proposal that would remove a controversial border security measure from a comprehensive bill approved by the Senate in June.
Watch a tour bus caught near the crowds:
Photos from the rally:
Lawmakers, including Rep. Joseph Crowley, D-N.Y., (back, center), Keith Ellison, DFL-Minn., (center), Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill. (to his right) and Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, joined thousands of protesters Tuesday on the National Mall. (Elahe Izadi)
Capitol Police escort a handcuffed Rep. Joseph Crowley, D-N.Y. from a rally in support of immigration reform outside the Capitol Tuesday afternoon. (Elahe Izadi)
Organizers estimated 20,000 protesters attended the rally at its peak Tuesday. (Elahe Izadi)
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The Senate voted on Wednesday 72-26 on a bill to fund the government through Dec. 9, averting a looming shutdown. The legislation will now go to the House, where it could be voted on as early as Wednesday. After this legislation is approved by the House, Congress will recess until the lame-duck session following elections.