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House GOP plans to block another Democratic sit-in

Lawmakers sing "We Shall Overcome" on Capitol Hill on June 23, 2016, after House Democrats ended their sit-in protest. (AP/Carolyn Kaster)

Republicans in the House of Representatives are looking to change the body's rules to block public broadcasts of sit-ins like the Democratic one over gun control this past summer.

Leaders within the GOP plan to vote next session on a set of rules changes that would institute monetary fines for using phones or other devices to take pictures and video on the floor of the House, the Associated Press reported.

Last summer's sit-in was staged and streamed by Democrats in the House after a shooting at an Orlando nightclub that killed 49 people.

More from AP:

The proposal comes six months after Democrats live-streamed a sit-in on the House floor for 26 hours last June to call attention to their demand for votes on gun-control bills. Republican leaders shut off the cameras in the House gallery throughout most of the protest, but Democrats used their cellphones to transmit video on social media. C-SPAN broadcast live video streamed on Periscope and Facebook from lawmakers' accounts.

The proposed fines — $500 for a first offense and $2,500 for any subsequent offense — would be docked from the salaries of offending lawmakers. The new rules would not be retroactive, so those who participated in the sit in last summer won't be penalized.

House Speaker Paul Ryan's spokeswoman said the changes are intended to ensure "order and decorum" on the House floor. But Democrats accused Republicans of bowing to the gun lobby with the move.

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