Senate Fails to Pass Four New Gun Safety Bills, Even After the Mass Killing in Orlando
Business as usual continues on gun legislation in Washington, D.C. On Monday, the Senate rejected four partisan measures to restrict access to guns.
The proposals—two from Republicans and two from Democrats—originated after the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Fla., on June 12, the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. According to USA Today, the Republican bills sought to increase funding for the national background check system and create a judicial review process to prevent people on terrorism watch lists from buying firearms. The Democratic bills sought to expand background checks to private gun sales and allow the Justice Department to ban gun sales to suspected terrorists. Republicans found the Democratic measures too restrictive, Reuters reports, while Democrats thought the Republican bills weren’t strong enough.
Both sides shared familiar messages on the Senate floor.
“It’s always the same. After each tragedy, we try, we Democrats try to pass sensible gun safety measures,” Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid of Nevada said. “Sadly, our efforts are blocked by the Republican Congress, who take their marching orders from the National Rifle Association.”
“No one wants a terrorist to be able to buy guns or explosives. No one,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said. “Instead of using this as an opportunity to push a partisan agenda or craft the next 30-second campaign ad, colleagues like Sen. [John] Cornyn [R-Texas] and Sen. [Chuck] Grassley [R-Iowa] are pursuing real solutions that can help keep Americans safer from the threat of terrorism.”
Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy, who led a 15-hour filibuster last week to force a gun-control vote, expressed disappointment with the outcome, saying, “Republicans have decided to sell guns to ISIS.”
According to a Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted last week, 71 percent of Americans “favor at least moderate regulations and restrictions on gun sales.”
Some lawmakers remain hopeful that some sort of compromise can be reached to provide common-sense gun laws in the United States. But with 54 Republicans, 44 Democrats and two independents (who caucus with Democrats in the current 100-person U.S. Senate), bipartisan cooperation is needed to reach the 60-vote threshold to pass legislation. None of the four gun safety measures reached the 60 votes necessary.
Watch the whole Senate session here.
—Posted by Eric OrtizWait, before you go…
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