Congressional sources say that GOP lawmakers and strategists are urging Speaker Boehner to kill any gun control legislation that comes to the House by refusing to act on it. The Speaker is planning “what could be a months-long review of the bill that likely would involve chipping away at gun-related measures” and instead encourage options that focus on the mental health aspect of gun violence.
“I fully expect that the House will act on (gun) legislation in the coming months,” Boehner said. “But … I want the (House) Judiciary Committee to take the time to look at whatever the Senate does produce – assuming they produce something – and have members on both sides review that and make their determination.”
While the media reports growing support for background check measures, the focus on the mental health component of gun control legislation has been neglected. In particular, appearances by the families of the Sandy Hook victims have had an effect on the Hill, and on Saturday President Obama went so far as to turn his weekly address over to the mother of a Sandy Hook victim.
Boehner has pledged that the House will act on any gun bill that emerges from the Senate. He has indicated that the House’s review would allow a lengthy debate without many of the deadlines and restrictions that usually guide the chamber’s work.
It is expected that second amendment supporters in the House will have a generous time-frame to come up with amendments “that could make the gun bill unpalatable even to Senate Democrats who now support it.”
The Senate is expected to vote as early as Tuesday on the “Toomey-Manchin-Schumer” compromise. Amendments to limit high capacity magazines and ‘military-style assault weapons’ are expected as well as amendment from GOP Senators.