NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – President Joe Biden took to Twitter on Thursday condemning the actions of the Tennessee House of Representatives for expelling two Democratic Representatives.
The House voted to expel Rep. Justin Jones (D-Nashville) and Rep. Justin Pearson (D-Memphis) one week after they broke several House decorum rules and protested for gun control measures. Rep. Gloria Johnson (D-Knoxville), who also took part in the incident with Jones and Pearson, was not expelled by the House.
The President released the following statement Thursday night:
“Last week, three more students and three school officials were gunned down in yet another tragic mass shooting in Nashville. On Monday, 7,000 Tennesseans, many of them students, marched to their state capitol to call on their lawmakers to take action and keep them safe.
Instead, state Republican lawmakers called votes today to expel three Democratic legislators who stood in solidarity with students and families and helped lift their voices. Today’s expulsion of lawmakers who engaged in peaceful protest is shocking, undemocratic, and without precedent. 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.
A strong majority of Americans want lawmakers to act on commonsense gun safety reforms that we know will save lives. 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. Our kids continue to pay the price.
Congress must ban assault weapons and high capacity magazines, require safe storage of firearms, eliminate gun manufacturers’ immunity from liability, and require background checks for all gun sales, and state officials must do the same.”
Former President Barack Obama also weighed in with a series of tweets:
This nation was built on peaceful protest. No elected official should lose their job simply for raising their voice – especially when they’re doing it on behalf of our children. What happened in Tennessee is the latest example of a broader erosion of civility and democratic norms. Silencing those who disagree with us is a sign of weakness, not strength, and it won’t lead to progress.Barack Obama