Democrats staged a sit-in on the House floor Wednesday to try and force action on gun control legislation. Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), urged his colleagues to “join him on the floor,” and dozens of Democrats obliged him.
Shortly after this, the house went into recess and the C-SPAN cameras in the chamber were switched off.
A spokeswoman for Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said that the chamber would be in recess as long as Democrats held up normal legislative business.
“The House cannot operate without members following the rules of the institution, so the House has recessed subject to the call of the chair,” Ryan spokeswoman AshLee Strong tweeted.
Democrats said they were willing to sit-in until GOP leaders allow a vote on gun control legislation.
The incident highlights a major conflict between C-SPAN, the network that has provided floor coverage for decades, and the House administration, which controls the video, audio and angles of the cameras.
House Republicans control the House and the cameras that feed C-SPAN, and said they would be turned off until the House was back in session.
C-SPAN eventually leveraged Periscope and Facebook Live on Wednesday for coverage of Democrats staging their sit-in.
Last week, Democrats took over the Senate floor to call attention to gun control.
The Senate on Monday night rejected four bills dealing with gun control. A separate bipartisan measure may come up for a vote later this week.