A senior Republican senator on Sunday warned fellow lawmakers against throwing their support behind the framework of new gun control legislation until the actual text of the law is finalized.
“There is still no agreement, and yet we continue to be asked by colleagues, constituents and reporters, ‘Do you support the bill?'” Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) told Fox News Sunday.
“This is a very dangerous way of legislating,” he added. “Behind closed doors – you need the transparency of a public conversation with the text of the law in front of you.”
“Personally, I refuse to say whether or how I will vote on any legislation until I see the text because there are a lot of things that can go wrong,” Lee continued.
Lee’s comments came just days after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told reporters he would support the legislation if the text of the law matches the bill presented last week.
At least ten other GOP Senators signed the frame: Texas’ John Cornyn, North Carolina’s Thom Tillis, Missouri’s Roy Blunt, Ohio’s Rob Portman, South Carolina’s Lindsey Graham, North Carolina’s Richard Burr, Pennsylvania’s Pat Toomey, Susan Collins from Maine, Mitt Romney from Utah and Bill Cassidy from Louisiana.
At least two major issues remain contentious between Republican and Democratic negotiators: the so-called “boyfriend loophole,” which involves whether dating partners guilty of domestic violence should be allowed to own firearms, and incentives for states, so-called ” to enact Red Flag legislation .
Lawmakers involved in the talks have expressed hope of introducing a bill to the Senate this week before the July 4 holiday break. However, Lee said Sunday that he had received “none” of his questions about the details.
“Without that language, you can’t tell if it’s okay,” Lee said, warning against legislating “in the heat of the moment, under great emotion, without looking at the text.”
Under the framework, the bill would expand mental health services in all 50 states, expand background checks on juvenile files of potential gun buyers under the age of 21, and increase funding for school safety and mental health programs.
It would not include a ban on assault weapons, nor would it raise the legal purchase age of semi-automatic rifles from 18 to 21.
Friday marks the one-month anniversary of a mass shooting at an elementary school in Ulvalde, Texas that killed 19 students and two teachers.
In the aftermath, the Biden administration, activists, and several high-profile celebrities — like actor Matthew McConaughey — have repeatedly urged Congress to pass new gun control legislation.
Since the Senate is split 50-50, any gun bill would need at least 10 Republican votes to pass.
https://nypost.com/2022/06/20/gop-sen-lee-tells-colleagues-to-hold-off-on-gun-bill-support/ GOP Senator Lee urges peers to withhold support for gun laws