You might hear Democrats squeal over the House GOP’s “gutting” of the Office of Congressional Ethics. But secretly, they’re happy Republicans took the hit for something they’d have done long ago if they had the cojones. But that wasn’t what House Democrats were protesting today in the first session of the 115th Congress.
They were protesting the ban on selfies from the floor. Really.
It’s always been a standing rule in the House that photos or video from the floor are verboten. But Republicans sought to add a fine of up to $2,500 to give the rules some teeth. Concerned that the fine could be unconstitutional (the Sergeant-at-arms would levy the fines), Speaker Paul Ryan was finally satisfied when the rules package added an appeals process.
The reasoning behind making the ban hurt is so when Democrats conduct a peace and love sit-in like they did last year over gun control (although they never expected to get anything but press), they can’t go live from the floor with their cellphones when Republicans turn the C-SPAN cameras off.
So what did Democrats do? This.
— Jackie Speier (@RepSpeier) January 3, 2017
And this (the cuteness cannot be resisted here).
Getting ready to to be sworn into the 115th Congress with my special guest.😊
— Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (@RepBonnie) January 3, 2017
— José E. Serrano (@RepJoseSerrano) January 3, 2017
I checked a number of freshmen Republican members of Congress on Twitter (no, I didn’t check all of them), and didn’t see any pics from the floor.
It’s doubtful that anyone will be fined today: one reason is that the rules had not taken effect at the time, and another is that who is going to spoil the day for Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman’s absolutely cute to the max granddaughter?
But you can see where the Blue Team’s priorities are. (Fists raised in protest.)