Aug 8, 2019

Pelosi asks Trump to order Senate back to session to pass gun control

Photo: Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post via Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wrote a letter to President Trump on Thursday asking him to use his Article II powers to call the Senate back into session — prematurely ending the August recess — in order to consider gun control legislation passed in the House.

The big picture: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has yet to bring a vote on two background check bills that passed the House over 5 months ago. After the El Paso and Dayton mass shootings, Trump publicly said that he would support background checks to prevent guns getting "into the hands of mentally unstable people with rage or hate."

The two bills:

  • H.R. 8 would require background checks for all firearm sales, including those sold at gun shows and online.
  • H.R. 1112, spearheaded by Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.), would "extend the background check review period deadline from three to 10 business days." Clyburn contends that this bill would close the "Charleston loophole" that mass shooter Dylann Roof used to obtain his firearm in 2015.

The other side: McConnell said in a radio interview Thursday that he believes "nothing would happen" if he called the Senate back before its September return date, and that there needs to be "bipartisan discussions" when Congress returns. "If we do it prematurely it will just be another frustrating experience," he added.

  • McConnell also addressed protestors outside of his house that have demanding he act on gun control: "I will not be intimidated by you people — not a chance. Not a single thing you do is going to alter how I operate on behalf of my constituents and the country."

Read Pelosi's letter:

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Pelosi, Schumer urge Senate GOP to act on gun control after Texas shootings

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in Washington, D.C., in July. Photo Win McNamee/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer responded to the drive-by mass shooting in West Texas by calling on the Senate to vote on gun control legislation.

Context: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has yet to bring a vote on 2 background check bills that passed the House over 5 months ago.

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Mayors of cities hit by mass shootings urge Senate to reconvene

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

More than 200 mayors signed onto a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Thursday urging them to cancel the Senate's August recess to address gun control following last weekend's mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, Ohio.

"Already in 2019, there have been over 250 mass shootings. The tragic events in El Paso and Dayton this weekend are just the latest reminders that our nation can no longer wait for our federal government to take the actions necessary to prevent people who should not have access to firearms from being able to purchase them."
Go deeperArrowAug 8, 2019

Trump claims Mitch McConnell supports gun background checks

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Trump said Tuesday he spoke with Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) about background checks following this month's mass shootings, and he's "convinced" that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) wants to do something about the issue.

"There is nobody more pro-Second Amendment than Donald Trump, but I don’t want guns in the hands of a lunatic or a maniac. And I think if we do proper background checks, we can prevent that."
— Trump's remarks to reporters
Go deeperArrowAug 14, 2019