Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA,) who represents California’s 33rd L.A. area district in Congress, took to the House floor on Friday to play the audio released by Pro Publica earlier this week of wailing children inside a U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility.
“Why are we hiding this from the American people!?” he pleaded with the chamber.
Rep. Karen Handel, who was serving as the presiding officer at the time, demanded that he suspend the playing of the audio under Rule 17 of the House rules, although there’s no mention of a prohibition on the use of electronic devices on the floor of the House. Lieu just continued to let it play.
You can watch the powerful video below:
Ted Lieu plays the ProPublica audio of crying children in detention centers on the House floor.
Karen Handel, who was presiding over the floor, repeatedly tries to stop Lieu.
Lieu responds: "Why are we hiding this from the American people?" (via CSPAN)pic.twitter.com/NW2emIPFdb
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) June 22, 2018
Lieu had a message for Handel’s call for “decorum” on the House floor:
2300 kids were ripped away from parents with no real plan to reunite them. I can't play the @ProPublica audio of their cries for help because of "decorum"? F*ck decorum. @realDonaldTrump engaged in the functional equivalent of kidnapping. The American people need to hear this. https://t.co/x47nAebmDZ
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) June 22, 2018
Many joined Lieu by amplifying his message on social media:
"The gentleman will suspend!"
Dem @tedlieu, on US House floor, plays @ProPublica audio of wailing children in detention.
"We have 2,300 babies & kids in detention facilities who were ripped away from their parents. I think the American people need to hear this."
— Michael Mathes (@MichaelMathes) June 22, 2018
— Amnesty International (@amnestyusa) June 22, 2018
Watch Rep. Ted Lieu play audio of refugee children crying for their parents on the House floor. Then Rep. Karen Handel ordered him to shut it off. Repeatedly. But he didn’t. So she gave up. Thank you Ted for making sure Americans hear their cries for help. pic.twitter.com/EXBaWS9l0T
— Scott Dworkin (@funder) June 22, 2018
And Twitter was on Lieu’s side, thanking him for speaking out:
Ted Lieu is doing the right thing. The fact that Handel is trying to stop him shows how little she cares for these children and their families. The Republicans have become the part who tries to destroy people in their wake and hide the evidence. Handel needs to go.
— Jen (@CharliNye) June 22, 2018