Paul Ryan wants to fine people who livestream protests from the House floorn

This is an image from video of House Speaker Paul Ryan at a House session in June when Democrat staged an all-day sit-in on the House floor to demand votes on gun-control bills .
Image: House Television via AP

Democrats resulted an epic sit-in( 25 hours is nothing to sneeze at) on the House floor last June when House Speaker Paul Ryan refused to vote on gun control bills following the Pulse nightclub massacre.

Livestreams, tweets and other social media posts of the hours-long Democratic refusal to leave chambers spread all over the internet, but now Ryan is proposing a vote in January to bring in regulations that penalty anyone who uses electronic devices to photograph, film or broadcast from the House floor.

That would keep Democrats and anyone else from depicting what happens after the official House cameras and broadcast shuts off. In June, Periscope and Facebook Live feeds demonstrated the prolonged protest, with C-SPAN even picking up a Periscope creek to display spectators an inside view.

Already, taking photos or videos on the House floor is proscribed, but this would add an enforcement element, although it’s unclear how it would be enforced and if that’s allowed.

If the $500 penalty for a first offense and $2,500 fee for subsequent offenses are enforced they will affect violations in the future it’s not retroactive, so the Democrat from June’s sit-in will not be penalized for their livestreamed protest.

Democrats are pushing back against the proposal. Some say it blocks the public’s access to Congressional protests and an inside look into the political system. California Rep. Eric Swalwell, a Democrat, spoke out on Twitter against the proposed rule.

The proposed fines and restrictions also might not jibe with Article 1 of the Constitution. Some are telling the would-be fines and regulations are unconstitutional.

Ryan’s spokeswoman AshLee Strong said in an email to Mashable that the changes “will help ensure that order and propriety are preserved in the House of Representatives so lawmakers can do the people’s work.”

Also in the proposed defined of rules: no intentionally blocking members from moving in or out of the appeals chamber and other disruptive behaviour involving microphones or other objects.

The Associated Press contributed reporting .

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