Lawmakers Urge McConnell to Cancel August Recess for Vote on Gun Legislation

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 25: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivers remarks during the Weekly Senate Policy Luncheon Press Conference on June 25, 2019 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. (Photo by Tom Brenner/Getty Images)
Tom Brenner/Getty

Lawmakers are urging Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to cancel the chamber’s August recess in order to respond to the two deadly shootings that took the lives of at least 29 people and injured dozens more over the weekend.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) called for McConnell to bring the Senate back to vote for the House-approved Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019, which would “create new background check requirements for gun transfers between unlicensed individuals, “NBC News reports:

Schumer released a statement over the weekend and lambasted the president for not denouncing, “right-wing extremists who often traffic in hate and white nationalism” enough.

“When President Trump spends more time and energy denouncing Rep. Elijah Cummings and Baltimore than he does denouncing right-wing extremists who often traffic in hate and white nationalism, it shows his priorities are un-American and way off balance,” Schumer stated.

He added:

Leader McConnell, do the right thing. Call an emergency session. Wherever the senators are. Put the House bill on the floor, and it will pass. And the president, my guess is, will have no choice but to sign it. And maybe we can do something to begin dealing with gun laws in a rational way. And not just quaking when the [National Rifle Association] and other extreme groups tell Congress to sit on its hands.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) also called for McConnell to take action.

“Mitch McConnell should bring the Senate back into session immediately to pass HR 8, the gun safety bill that has already passed the House,” he tweeted. “That’s a first step to addressing our serious gun violence epidemic.”:

“We must treat this like the public health crisis that it is. @SenMajLdr: Bring the Senate back from recess to vote on legislation to address the gun violence epidemic,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) wrote.

“Mitch McConnell needs to bring the Senate back from recess right now and hold votes on legislation to protect Americans from gun violence. Enough. We need to end this carnage now,” Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) added.

Hillary Clinton jumped into the fray as well, demanding Senate action:

“The House has sent common-sense gun safety legislation to the Senate. Demand that @senatemajldr and your Republican elected officials join Democrats to pass it,” she wrote in part:

Republican Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) told Face the Nation Sunday he’d be “happy” to go back to vote on such an important issue.

“I’d leave tonight. I’ll go tomorrow, it doesn’t matter to me,” he said. “This is such an important issue.”:

However, it remains unclear if the House-passed background check measure would have done anything to prevent the shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.

As Breitbart News’s AWR Hawkins reported:

USA Today reports universal background check legislation has been sitting in the Senate since being passed by the Democrat-controlled House in February of this year. Demands for Senate passage of the checks has been made again and again following high profile, firearm-based crimes. Breitbart News reported Hollywood calls for “universal background checks” following the July 29, 2019, Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting in California.

But the majority of shooters–like the Gilroy Garlic Shooter–acquire their guns at retail, which means they are already passing background checks to get their guns. Universal checks would not change that.

On August 4, 2019, Breitbart News reported that the Dayton, Ohio, shooter acquired his gun “legally.” Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl made clear the attacker had no criminal history to prevent the purchase of a gun.

On Monday, President Trump proposed tying “strong background checks” to “desperately needed immigration reform.”:


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