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Tipsheet

Biden Invites Expelled Tennessee Democrats to the White House

AP Photo/George Walker IV

President Joe Biden invited the three expelled Democrats to the White House after being ousted from the state legislature for protesting against gun violence.

His invitation extended to the "Tennessee Three" along with a statement praising them for "seeking to ban assault weapons and standing up for our democratic values."

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"Earlier today, I spoke to Reps. Jones, Pearson, and Johnson thank them for their leadership and courage in the face of a blatant disregard for our nation's democratic values. Our country needs to take action on gun violence — and to do that; we need more voices like theirs speaking out," Biden said in a social media caption with a video of the president speaking with Democrats Justin Pearson, Justin Jones, and Gloria Johnson.

The invite came the same day Vice President Kamala Harris traveled to Nashville to meet with the ousted lawmakers who violated decorum rules. According to a White House pool report, the visit will occur in the future. 

On Thursday, all three Democrats faced expulsion from their Republican colleagues for taking part in a protest calling for gun control after a March 27 school shooting in Nashville killed several children and employees.

In a statement on Friday, the Biden White House called the GOP response to the protests "dangerous" and "shocking," adding that children are paying the price for Republicans' gun stance. The Biden Administration also accused the party of punishing and silencing "duly-elected representatives of the people of Tennessee."

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Furthermore, CBS anchor John Dickerson criticized the GOP's actions, calling their decision to remove the Democrats from their positions extreme, warning that Americans, primarily conservative, will turn to violence. 

"Politics needs some cartilage. It needs some give. It can't be brittle. So when you have a situation in here where, okay, Republican lawmakers thought these Democrats broke decorum and stepped out of line, there are a series of steps to punish. But when you go to the maximalist and kick them out, that's brittle. There's no give," Dickerson said. "When there's no give, the other side gets to respond only by punching back. And so when you lose those interim steps, all you get is response and response and response. And that is not only -- you know where that leads. Right? That leads to violence."

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