Congressional Republicans want to punish members who livestream video or post photos from the House floor

The Democrat sit-in that sparked the new rules.
The Democrat sit-in that sparked the new rules.
Image: AP Photo
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Lawmakers who choose to take photos, shoot video, or livestream from the floor of the House of Representatives may face steep fines, according to a new proposal from House Republicans.

A first offense would result in a $500 fine, taken out of the representative’s salary, and a subsequent one would incur $2,500, according to NBC News. Audio recording would also be fined under the new rules. The proposal comes after Democrats broadcast a June sit-in to demand Congressional action on gun control. The House session was not being aired on television, because it had not yet formally started, so the Democratic state representatives livestreamed it on Periscope and Facebook Live, where it gained widespread public attention.

At the time, Paul Ryan, speaker of the House, threatened sanctions against the lawmakers who took part in the sit-in, which was led by Georgia representative John Lewis, a civil rights leader.

“These changes will help ensure that order and decorum are preserved in the House of Representatives so lawmakers can do the people’s work,” AshLee Strong, a spokesman for Ryan, told Bloomberg in a statement.

The rules will be voted on Jan. 3 when the new Congress starts its session.