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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In pictures: Storm Zeta churns inland after lashing Louisiana

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Tropical Storm Zeta has killed at least two people, triggered flooding, downed powerlines and caused widespread outages since making landfall in Louisiana as a Category 2 hurricane on Wednesday.

The big picture: A record 11 named storms have made landfall in the U.S. this year. Zeta is the fifth named storm to do so in Louisiana in 2020, the most ever recorded. It weakened t0 a tropical storm early Thursday, as it continued to lash parts of Alabama and the Florida Panhandle with heavy rains and strong winds.