A group of leftists decided to protest at the office of Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Capitol Hill.
In a social media video, activists are seen occupying McCarthy’s office at the Rayburn House Office Building. They appear to be taking part in what Democrats describe as an “insurrection.”
The activists occupied McCarthy’s office in order to demand the reauthorization of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. Since its creation in 2003, PEPFAR has invested millions in combating HIV/AIDS around the world. The funding for the program expires at the end of this month.
Here’s a video of the occupation/insurrection/protest that was posted to X (formerly known as Twitter) Monday morning:
BREAKING: Activists are occupying @SpeakerMcCarthy’s office demanding a full 5 year reauthorization of PEPFAR, which some Rs are opposing. Background: https://t.co/nQVnCxPDE0 pic.twitter.com/wCZx4Z6wzu
— Alice Miranda Ollstein (@AliceOllstein) September 11, 2023
Seven protesters were arrested for illegal entry by the U.S. Capitol Police after the demonstrators refused “to cease their demonstration.”
The Washington Examiner reported that “the protest comes at a time when the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) is due to expire on Oct. 1. This is amid criticism by House Republicans, who claim that much of the budget goes to abortion providers – a suggestion Democrats deny. The program, which is credited for saving over 25 million lives and fighting the global HIV epidemic, would be severely affected by a lapse.
PEPFAR is one of many items on the House’s agenda in the coming weeks. They are trying to pass a budget before the deadline of Sept. 30, as well as reach an agreement on spending legislation such as the National Defense Authorization Act and Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization.
Congress must pass the budget for the fiscal year before Oct. 1 or risk a shutdown of government. Budget disputes are common as both parties struggle over spending priorities. A final agreement is often reached at the 11th hour, after a marathon vote session.
The process is arduous as House Republicans and Senate Democrats differ on the spending figures. Congress has avoided lengthy voting sessions in recent years by combining all the bills into one legislation known as an Omnibus. This allows Congress to pass its entire budget on a single vote.
Don’t expect that these protestors will be treated in the same manner as those who entered the Capitol building on January 6, 2021, despite the fact that they were not authorized to enter. Do not expect them to be locked up in prison cells without due procedure or to have their names branded as insurrectionists in the media.