WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats pressed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday to approve House-passed laws increasing background checks and to take different steps curbing weapons, in an offensive fueled by public outrage over this month’s mass killings in Texas and Ohio.
It appeared unlikely that Democrats’ strikes would have a lot impression on prime Republicans. While President Donald Trump and McConnell have expressed a brand new openness to unspecified gun curbs following the back-to-back mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, their choices will mirror the sentiment of fellow Republicans, not predictable stress ways by Democrats.
Still, Democrats’ strikes underscore their concentrate on a problem that largely unites them — responding to the massacres that killed 31 individuals — and away from the occasion’s hand-wringing over whether or not to question Trump , a query that deeply divides Democrats.
McConnell, R-Ky., got here underneath the sharpest assaults at a information convention held by No. 2 House Democratic chief Steny Hoyer, D-Md., 5 different House Democrats and gun activists and survivors of shootings.
Rep. Don Beyer, D-Va., stated McConnell hadn’t moved gun curb laws as a result of “he’s waiting for the outrage to die down, the headlines to change, the people to turn the page and think about something else.” Congress is out of city on recess till every week after Labor Day.
Hoyer resorted to studying lyrics from “Blowin’ in the Wind,” Bob Dylan’s 1962 tune. “How many deaths will it take till he knows that too many people have died,” Hoyer stated, pausing for impact.
Rep. Anthony Brown, D-Md., cited statistics on the hundreds of gun fatalities yearly and stated, “In the face of this epidemic, Mitch McConnell is doing nothing.”
Democrats centered on McConnell’s failure to let the Senate take into account a measure the House permitted in February. It would require background checks for many non-public gross sales, together with on-line and gun present purchases of firearms, not only for transactions involving registered gun sellers.
The White House has threatened that Trump would veto that invoice, which the Democratic-led House permitted largely alongside occasion strains. In an interview final week with Louisville, Kentucky, radio station WHAS-AM, McConnell pointedly famous that for a proposal to grow to be legislation, it should move the House and Senate “and it has to be signed by President Trump.”
Trump instructed reporters in New Jersey on Tuesday that he’s “convinced that Mitch wants to do something” on weapons. He added, “He wants to do background checks and I do too.”
Trump additionally stated he’d had “a very good conversation” with Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., a robust gun management advocate.
Trump offered no specifics and it was unclear how robust a background verify measure Republicans may take into account. McConnell stated earlier this month that background checks and “red flags” — payments serving to authorities take away weapons from unstable individuals — would “probably lead the discussion.”
“What we can’t do is fail to pass something,” McConnell stated. “What I want to see here is an outcome.”
Hoyer stated the Democratic-run House Judiciary Committee will take into account gun management laws, although he stopped wanting saying they’d maintain votes. He stated the panel may focus on measures banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines and making it simpler for authorities to confiscate weapons from unstable individuals.
The committee may return from recess in early September to contemplate gun measures, in accordance individuals acquainted with the panel’s plans who weren’t approved to talk on the document.
Separately, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer known as on Trump to divert $5 billion he’s wished to construct his wall alongside the southern border to investigating home terrorism and conducting analysis on gun violence.
“The dual scourges of gun violence and violent white supremacist extremism in this country are a national security threat plain and simple, and it’s time the Trump administration and Republicans in Congress starting treating them as such,” Schumer, D-N.Y., stated in a press release.
Patrick Crusius, 21, accused of the El Paso shootings, has instructed authorities he was concentrating on Mexicans.
Schumer’s plea appeared to largely be an try to border the difficulty politically, and it appeared extremely unlikely Trump will heed it.
AP reporter Mary Clare Jalonick and congressional correspondent Lisa Mascaro contributed.
Story has been corrected to mirror that Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer is the Senate minority chief, not the bulk chief.