Senators pitch Trump on expanded gun background check bill

Henrietta Strickland
September 12, 2019

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, fearing Republican support could fall in suburbs nationwide, is trying to come up with a formula for gun control legislation that could help stem this tide before next year's election, The Hill reported on Tuesday.

The committee considered the legislation in the wake of an August in which 53 people were killed in mass shootings in the US, according to Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler of NY.

Schumer said President Trump is "stealing" money from the military fund to construct the wall along the southern border and usurping the power "given exclusively to Congress by the Constitution". The third bill would bar those convicted of a misdemeanor hate crime from owning a weapon.

Over more than four hours, Democrats rejected Republican amendments and then advanced the bills along party-line votes. "Let's just act. Next week Senate Democrats will call again for unanimous consent, asking the Senate to bring up the House [of Representatives] bill and pass it", he added.

Expanded background checks, for example, have strong support among swing voters in the suburbs, whom McConnell views as crucial to maintaining control of GOP-held swing seats in the Senate.

But Toomey, Manchin and Murphy cautioned that they did not win Trump's endorsement of their background check bill during their 40-minute telephone conversation. Congress has not enacted any gun control legislation in decades. Although senators are talking with the White House this week, the Trump administration previously issued a veto threat for the bills.

"That will not stop this committee", Nadler said of the Senate opposition at the beginning of the markup.

The three senators made a fresh pitch to the president earlier Wednesday amid continued gridlock over legislation to curb gun violence following a summer of more mass shootings. More than 10,000 people have died due to gun violence in the country this year, while over 20,000 have been injured.

The red flag legislation that the committee voted on Tuesday would set up a federal grant program to incentivize states to establish red flag laws - otherwise known as extreme risk protection orders, which enable a court to intervene and temporarily prevent someone who is in crisis from having access to a firearm.

He added, "The House and Senate are part of a legislative process, and at the end of the day I think we recognize that we should try to find common ground with the other side of the Capitol, but we do need a partner and right now, because Mitch McConnell is obstructing, missing in action, or hiding in the closet afraid of the NRA, take your choice, there is no partner".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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