Skip to Content

House erupts during moment of silence

Following a moment of silence on the House floor in remembrance of the victims of the Orlando attack at a gay nightclub, House Democrats staged protests Monday evening.

Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) led the House in the moment of silence, and afterwards the chamber erupted into shouting as Democrats voiced their frustration regarding the lack of votes to restrict gun ownership following multiple mass shootings.


“Where’s the bill?” Democrats chanted.

“Show some respect!” other Democrats shouted.

Other lawmakers, including Representative Jim Himes of Connecticut, walked out of the chamber before the moment of silence began. Earlier in the day, Himes announced he would not participate in more moments of silence as a form of protest against the lack of legislative response.

“The fact is that a moment of silence is an act of respect, and we supported that. But it is a not a license to do nothing,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told reporters off the House floor afterward.


Assistant Minority Leader James Clyburn (D-S.C.) tried to seek recognition, but was rejected by Speaker Ryan.

Clyburn told reporters that he wanted to speak about the upcoming anniversary — this Friday — of the shooting at a historically black church in his district a year ago in Charleston, S.C.

Pelosi criticized Ryan for denying Clyburn recognition, calling it “really disrespectful.”