The Latest: Schumer, Pelosi discuss gun bill with Trump
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on possible congressional action on gun safety legislation (all times local):
The top two congressional Democrats say President Donald Trump has assured them he will review a House-passed bill that expands federal background checks for gun sales.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (puh-LOH’-see) and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer say they spoke separately to Trump on Thursday. Trump called the leaders individually after Pelosi sent him a letter asking him to order the Senate back to Washington immediately to consider gun violence measures.
In a joint statement, Schumer and Pelosi say they told Trump the best way to address gun violence is for the Senate to take up and pass the House-passed bill. They say Trump “gave us his assurances that he would review the bipartisan House-passed legislation and understood our interest in moving as quickly as possible to help save lives.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is asking President Donald Trump to use his constitutional powers to call the Senate back into session immediately to consider House-passed legislation expanding federal background checks for guns sales.
Pelosi and other Democrats have been demanding that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell call senators back from their August recess in the wake of deadly shootings in Texas and Ohio, but McConnell has declined to do so.
Pelosi tells Trump in a letter Thursday that he and Congress “have an opportunity to work in a bipartisan way to pass gun violence prevention background checks,” despite McConnell’s longstanding opposition.
McConnell said Thursday he wants to consider background checks and other gun legislation when Congress returns next month.
The head of the National Rifle Association says it opposes any legislation that “unfairly infringes upon the rights of law-abiding citizens” and says proposals being discussed in Congress would not have prevented the mass shootings in Texas and Ohio that killed 31 people.
NRA chief Wayne LaPierre said in rare public statement Thursday that some federal gun-control proposals “would make millions of law-abiding Americans less safe and less able to defend themselves and their loved ones.”
LaPierre says the NRA supports “real solutions” to the epidemic of gun violence but opposes “soundbite solutions” that fail to address root problems or confront criminal behavior.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says the Senate will consider legislation to expand federal background checks and other gun violence measures when Congress returns next month.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he hopes to consider legislation to expand federal background checks and other gun violence measures when Congress resumes in the fall.
The Republican leader told a Kentucky radio station that President Donald Trump called him Thursday, adding that Trump “is anxious to get an outcome and so am I.”
Republicans have resisted expanding federal background checks for gun purchases, but face enormous pressure to do something in the aftermath of the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, over the weekend that killed 31 people.
The Republican leader is rejecting calls to force senators back to Washington from their summer recess to work on gun measures. He says that would just lead to senators “scoring points and nothing would happen.”
More than 200 mayors, including two anguished by mass shootings in Texas and Ohio, are urging the Senate to return to the Capitol to act on gun safety legislation amid criticism that Congress is failing to respond to back-to-back shootings that left 31 people dead.
In a letter Thursday to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the Democratic leader, Chuck Schumer, the mayors write, “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.”
The mayors are urging the Senate to vote on two House-passed bills expanding background checks for gun sales that passed that chamber earlier this year.