OAN Geraldyn Berry
UPDATED 5:47 PM – Friday, April 7, 2023
Following the Tennessee House’s vote to remove two Democrat members who took part in a boisterous demonstration at the Capitol, President Joe Biden has criticized Tennessee Republicans.
Biden called the actions by the Tennessee House Republicans to expel two Democrats as “shocking, undemocratic, and without precedent.”
The GOP-controlled House voted to expel Democrat Representatives Justin Jones and Justin Pearson for “disorderly behavior” after they stormed the Capitol with anti-gun protesters in the wake of the shooting at a Nashville, Tennessee, private Christian school. The shooting had left three staff members and three 9-year-old students dead. Democrat Representative Gloria Johnson was almost kicked out as well, but made it through by one vote.
Despite having the authority to expel members, major wrongdoing is often the only time that such a harsh sanction is used.
Republican legislators were criticized by President Biden for using their influence against Democrat legislators who, in his opinion, were supporting the 7,000 students and families who demonstrated in front of the state capitol to call for the passage of gun control legislation.
“Today’s expulsion of lawmakers who engaged in peaceful protest is shocking, undemocratic, and without precedent,” Biden said. “Rather than debating the merits of the issue, these Republican lawmakers have chosen to punish, silence, and expel duly-elected representatives of the people of Tennessee.”
In his last remarks, the president urged both the federal government and state governments to “act on commonsense gun safety reforms,” such as banning “assault weapons with high-capacity magazines,” implementing widespread background checks, as well as holding gun manufacturers accountable for mass murders, and others.
Republicans said that their measures were required in order to prevent creating any sort of precedent that would allow for disruptions of House proceedings by legislators.
On Friday, Vice President Kamala Harris traveled to Nashville to meet with the two Tennessee Democrats a day after they were expelled.
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