Monday, 23 September, 2019


US Democrats demand gun safety action as Congress reconvenes

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Bennie Garza | 10 September, 2019, 20:24

While a House-passed background checks bill stalled in the Senate, McConnell says he expects the White House to soon offer next steps.

McConnell said he would not bring a gun bill to the floor of the Republican-majority Senate unless it had the support of President Donald Trump, a Republican who has not provided details of measures he might support to address gun violence.

Sen. Roy Blunt, R- Mo., said Sunday on NBC News" "Meet the Press" that "the president needs to step up here and set some guidelines for what he would do.

Congressional Democrats pressed President Donald Trump on Monday to intervene with Senate Republicans and demand passage of a bipartisan bill to expand background checks for gun purchases. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has made it clear that the ball is in Trump's court as he awaits for the president to signal which measures, if any, he should put up for a vote. "But as each day goes by, it seems more likely that we're going to find ourselves back in a familiar place where 90 percent of the Americans who want more background checks are going to be disappointed once again".

Blunt, who also serves as the chairman of the Senate Rules Committee, told Todd that he's anxious Congress will "take this silly "if we don't get everything we won't do anything" approach to the issue, and that there should be particular action taken on legislation concerning mental health.

The Democrat-led House is planning news conferences, a forum and floor speeches to pressure the Senate take up the bill.

While the House is moving forward on these bills, it's unclear what legislation may come up for a vote in the Republican-controlled Senate.

In the immediate wake of mass shootings last month in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, Trump said it was time "have some really meaningful background checks". Barnett, a Republican, said background checks have strong support in his Republican-leaning city.

Republicans and the gun industry have argued that gun violence is rooted in psychological illness and that federal resources should be oriented toward treatment as a way of preventing mass shootings.

The two Democrats said the bill would "close the gaping loophole in the law that allows private gun sellers to evade existing background check requirements". "You are uniquely positioned to answer their call", the duo wrote.

"The committee does not believe that US taxpayer funds should be used to personally enrich President Trump, his family and his companies", said House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.).

"I've talked to Leader Schumer, I've talked to Leader McConnell about getting something done", Pelosi said Monday. They also hope to make progress on policy debates that have been languishing for months: the White House is pushing Congress to ratify a new trade deal with Mexico and Canada, and leaders want to show voters they are serious about proposals to lower health care costs.

After each attack, calls grew to reconvene lawmakers to take up new gun control legislation.

A few Republicans and Democrats, including Coons and Manchin, have held conversations over the August recess on a potential compromise. But the president has flip-flopped on guns, first suggesting he'd be open to background checks legislation or other measures to try to stem gun violence, only to backtrack after speaking to the National Rifle Association and others in the gun lobby. He said he was told that the White House wants to do something substantial. "Unfortunately, the result will be continued stonewalling on the gun safety issue by the President and Senate majority".

Representative Veronica Escobar (D-TX), Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Dayton, Ohio, Mayor Nan Whaley were also present for the press conference.

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