“Tennessee Three” to meet Biden with guns
WASHINGTON – President Biden thanked three Tennessee lawmakers for “standing up” on Monday facing expulsion for participating in gun control protests at their statehouses.
“You’re standing up for our kids, you’re standing up for our community,” Mr. Biden told Rep. Justin Pearson, Rep. Justine Jones and Rep. Gloria Johnson during an Oval Office meeting.
Flanked by Vice President Kamala Harris, Mr Biden described the expulsion vote as “disgusting” and “undemocratic”.
“Nothing is certain about our democracy – every generation has to fight for it,” he said.
Chris Kleponis/CNP/Bloomberg via Getty Images
The episode made the lawmakers known as the “Tennessee Three” into Democratic heroes. Harris Already visited Nashville to show his support earlier this month.
The statehouse protest came days after the shooting at Covenant School, a private Christian school that killed three children and three adults. Three lawmakers came to the front of the House chamber with a bullhorn as protesters filled the galleries.
Republicans who control the Tennessee Legislature called for their expulsion because they disrupted House proceedings. Pearson and Jones, both black expelledWhen Johnson wasn’t.
Pearson and Jones were later reinstated by local officials on an interim basis, and they plan to run in a special election to finish out their terms.
White House press secretary Karin Jean-Pierre said last week that Mr. Biden was “proud” and “grateful” to see representatives from three states call for stronger gun restrictions, particularly bans on so-called assault weapons.
During a phone call earlier this month, Mr. Biden thanked them “for speaking up and being very clear about their position and what is needed to protect their community,” Jean-Pierre said.
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