Ahead of Thursday’s vote, tensions appeared high among lawmakers as they debated separate legislation, including a school safety bill that would require every school to have a resource officer or security guard. Members of the public filled the galleries and aisles to watch the session.

If the vote is successful, it would mark an unprecedented exercise of power by Republicans who control both houses of the Legislature. Member expulsions typically occur when people are accused of crimes or ethics violations, a rare step that tends to follow an internal investigation that can last for months or years and features bipartisan agreement.

In this case, however, Republicans angered by the trio’s actions acted quickly and unilaterally.

“They have gone to extreme consequences for three members who spoke without permission,” Johnson said in an interview with POLITICO.

Removing Johnson and his colleagues would set a «terrible precedent,» he said. «You could get kicked out for literally anything, the smallest infraction possible.»

The drama has brought all three onto the national stage, as Democrats have rallied around them and tried to direct that attention toward enacting gun reform laws in Tennessee and beyond. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Tuesday that Tennessee Republicans are «shrugging off another school shooting.»