Bipartisan group of senators announce they have reached agreement on details gun legislation
A group of Republicans and Democrats said on Tuesday they had finally reached a deal on gun laws after spending the long weekend resolving issues between the two parties and grappling with a divisive abortion issue.
More than a week after a two-pronged group announcement of a ‘framework agreement’ agreement sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., the lead Democratic negotiator, said the final agreement was “in good shape.”
Top Republican negotiator Senator John Cornyn, R-Texas, who was booed at the party convention in his home state last weekend, said he, Murphy and the other two top Senate negotiators had reached an agreement.
The group of negotiators – including Murphy, Kyrsten Sinema, Ariz., on the Democratic side and Sens. Cornyn and Thom Tillis, NC, on the Republican side, had hoped to have the text of the legislation ready by Monday — but nothing came of it. by means of.
It lacks the tougher gun control restrictions that President Joe Biden urged, coming together on a day when new details emerged about law enforcement’s failure to confront a mass shooter in Uvalde, Texas.
“This bipartisan gun safety legislation is progress and will save lives. While it’s not all we want, this legislation is urgently needed,” said Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer.
“I support the bill that Senator Cornyn and our colleagues have drafted,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
He attacked the “far left” for “falsely claiming that Congress could only address the appalling issue of mass murder by trampling on the constitutional rights of law-abiding Americans.”
“This bill proves that false. Our colleagues have put together a common sense package of popular steps that will help make these horrific incidents less likely while fully respecting the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens,” McConnell added.
A GOP source told Politics that the negotiators got a hiccup over the Hyde amendment, which bans the use of federal funds to pay for abortions. Republicans have fought to keep the amendment up, while Democrats have tried to undo it.
Cornyn told ABC Tuesday morning that he thought a bill could be released today, “hopefully soon,” but the bill is being hung over “details.”
If the Senate makes procedural progress on Tuesday, the House could vote on the bill by the end of the week. If not, there’s little hope that a bill will make it before the two-week July 4 recess that begins late this week.
Lawmakers have scrambled to negotiate a deal following a recent spate of mass shootings, most notably in Uvalde, Texas, where an 18-year-old gunman shot down 19 children and two teachers.
sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, has led the negotiations for the Republicans
sen. Chris Murphy, Conn., Leads Negotiations for Democrats
Another provision that caused problems last week was the so-called ‘boyfriend loophole’. Last week, Cornyn told CNN that the loophole is “still a challenge” and an option to “drop it out of the pack.”
Democrats pushed for the provision to be included in the re-approval of the Violence Against Women bill earlier this year, but it was removed under intense lobbying by gun rights groups before Biden signed the bill earlier this year.
Current law prohibits people convicted of domestic violence from possessing a firearm if the violence is directed against a spouse, partner they live with or a partner with whom they share children. Democratic lawmakers have pushed the provision to include dating partners, convicted stalkers or anyone under protective warrant.
The Washington Post reports that language that closes the loophole has been worked out and is part of the legislation.
Parts of the framework also include comprehensive background checks for 18-21 year olds, funding to encourage states to implement red flag laws, funding for mental health and safety at school, and fines for “straw purchases” or third-party weapons purchases.
While the bill omits many Democratic gun control priorities, Cornyn was still booed at the Texas GOP convention in his hometown of Houston this weekend.
“Democrats pushed for a ban on assault weapons, I said no,” Cornyn said. “They tried to get a new mandatory three-week waiting period for all weapons purchases, I said no. Universal background checks, magazine bans, licensing requirements, the list goes on and on. And I said no, no, a thousand times no,” he told the hostile crowd.
Spectators chanted “no red flags” and “say no to Cornyn,” according to Houston Public Media.
We reject the so-called ‘dual arms deal’ and we reprimand Senators John Cornyn (R-Texas), Thom Tillis (RN.C.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Lindsey Graham 1601 (RS.C.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Mitt Romney (R-Utah), and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.),’ one resolution voted by delegates read on the Texas GOP convention.
Cornyn, who was asked about the booing on Tuesday, said he is “all for people exercising their First Amendment rights” and it has not affected him in the negotiations.