Biden Blasts Tennessee GOP For Expulsion Of House Democrats

It's "shocking, undemocratic, and without precedent," the president said after the Republican-led state House expelled two Democratic lawmakers.

President Joe Biden called out Tennessee Republicans’ move to “punish” and “silence” Democratic lawmakers Thursday after the state’s GOP-led House expelled two Democrats for participating in a gun-control protest.

“Today’s expulsion of lawmakers who engaged in peaceful protest is shocking, undemocratic, and without precedent,” Biden said in his statement.

“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.”

Democratic state Reps. Justin Jones and Justin Pearson were expelled Thursday, while state Rep. Gloria Johnson managed to hold on to her seat. Jones and Pearson are both Black. Johnson is white.

The three lawmakers joined protesters on the House floor March 30 in calling for stronger gun control following the Nashville school shooting that killed six people, including three children.

Biden said a majority of Americans “want lawmakers to act on commonsense gun safety reforms.” A recent Gallup poll shows Americans are increasingly dissatisfied with lax gun laws.

“But instead, we’ve continued to see Republican officials across America double down on dangerous bills that make our schools, places of worship, and communities less safe,” Biden said. “Our kids continue to pay the price.”

Biden has been calling for a federal assault weapon ban. He helped pass a ban on assault weapons in 1994 as a senator, but that law expired in 2004 and wasn’t renewed by Congress.

Over 11,100 people have died as a result of gun violence this year, and there have been 141 mass shootings, according to data from Gun Violence Archive.

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