Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-TX) said that Democrats should not complain about a series of changes to parliamentary rules that were introduced this week by Republicans. The new rules are intended to prevent protests on the floor of the House of Representatives. Gohmert asserted that Democrats broke numerous rules in June 2016 when they live-streamed video and conducted fundraising from within the chamber while they were protesting in favor of stricter gun controls. 
 
According to Gohmert, Democrats’ grievances are invalid because they do not face any real repercussions. The new rules provides for fines that start at $500 per offense and rise to $2,500 for live-streaming or taking photos on the floor of the House. 
 
When Rep. Joe Crowley (D-NY), according to The Hill, opined that the new fines amount to an infringement of free speech. of New York argued the fines were an infringement on the freedom of speech, Gohmert said Democrats got off easy because the new rules are not applicable retroactively. 
 
“Adopting rules now, specific penalties, don’t really punish people who violated those very rules last year,” Gohmert said in a floor speech on January 4.  “And so, I’m surprised that there is any complaints at all since basically it means people who violated the rule with such abandon would complain about inserting a specific penalty now, meaning they got a free one. They didn’t even get probation –they got nothing. They got pardoned, basically,”
 
Gohmert added that the House Committee on Ethics may still take action against Democrats who took part in the anti-gun protest. “I haven’t heard of OCE, by the way, taking any action on such widespread abuse that didn’t require great investigation,” he continued. “All you needed was footage that was being streamed out from the very violators of the rules. So it should have been an easy thing to pursue if OCE were really that interested in making sure our rules were not violated.”

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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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