President Biden on Friday spoke with the three Tennessee state lawmakers targeted with expulsion votes for protesting gun violence on the House floor and invited them to visit the White House.
Biden spoke via conference call from Camp David with Democratic state Reps. Justin Jones, Justin Pearson, and Gloria Johnson, the White House said in a statement.
“The President thanked them for their leadership in seeking to ban assault weapons and standing up for our democratic values,” the White House said. “The officials thanked the President for his leadership on gun safety and for spotlighting the undemocratic and unprecedented attacks on them this week in the Tennessee statehouse.”
Biden invited them to visit the White House in the near future, though no official date was given.
Jones and Pearson on Thursday were expelled from the legislature for their participation in the recent demonstrations following a shooting at a private Christian school in Nashville, Tenn., last month. Johnson, who also participated in the protests and is white, narrowly survived her expulsion vote.
President Biden has renewed his calls for an assault weapons ban following the shooting The Covenant School in Nashville that left three 9-year-olds and three adult employees dead.
Jones, Johnson and Pearson led chants on the House floor last week in the aftermath of the shooting, chanting “No action, no peace.” Resolutions to expel them state that they engaged in “disorderly behavior” and “did knowingly and intentionally bring disorder and dishonor to the House of Representatives.”
The expulsion of Jones and Pearson, both of whom are Black, has fueled a nationwide debate in recent days over gun violence, race and the freedom to protest. The White House called the expulsion votes “undemocratic.”
Vice President Harris traveled to Nashville on Friday to meet with the three lawmakers during a previously unscheduled visit.
Source: The Hill