21 House Democrats urge party leaders to split gun law package

A number of House Democrats are asking party leaders to split up a package of gun control measures in hopes the bills have a better chance of winning Republican support individually.

The 21 members of Congress, led by Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.), on Thursday wrote a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other senior Democrats asking for the eighth known as “Protecting Our Kids” to be Resolve Bill Package Each bill contained within may receive a standalone vote on the House floor.

The package includes laws that would raise the legal age to purchase semi-automatic rifles to 21, ban high-capacity magazines that would tighten gun storage requirements, and combat untraceable “ghost guns,” among other gun control measures.

The package — put together by Democrats in response to two horrific mass shootings in Buffalo and Texas that combined killed more than 30 people — is likely to easily pass the Democrat-controlled House but is expected to fail in the Senate, where there are 10 Republicans need votes to break up a filibuster and get it voted on.

“While we wish every member of Congress in the House and Senate would join us in supporting all of these bills, we know that’s not our current reality, and given the composition of the US Congress, we know we do.” have bipartisan support for bills we want to become law,” lawmakers wrote.

MP Abigail Spanberger
Rep. Abigail Spanberger is one of 21 members of Congress who have written to Speaker Pelosi asking for the package to be split.
Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

They said debating and voting on each bill alone would maximize each individual’s chance of garnering the widest possible bipartisan support, as some Republicans may be open to one or two of the bills, but not all.

“As members of the majority party, we must make a good faith effort to invite our colleagues across the aisle to join us to discuss the merits of each bill and to vote on each bill,” Congress members said.

If nothing else, they said, splitting up the package allows the American people to know how their representatives are voting on each gun control measure, rather than just their blanket stance.

Her letter — which was also addressed to Majority Leader Jim Clyburn, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler — was sent the same day President Biden delivered a speech urging Congress to approve gun reform action say goodbye.

Biden called on lawmakers to ban assault rifles, expand background checks and pass “red flag” laws after racist shootings at a Buffalo supermarket that killed 10 black people, and the shooting 10 days later at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, where 19 students and two teachers died.

The House Judiciary Committee approved the Protecting Our Kids package Thursday night by a 25-19 vote after a long and bitter debate.

President Biden
Biden recently called on lawmakers to ban assault rifles.
Yuri Gripas/CNP/

Gun control is a highly partisan issue that has stalled in Congress for years as escalating mass shootings claim American lives.

In his speech on Thursday, Biden asked how many more it will be before Congress acts.

“How much more carnage are we willing to accept?” he asked. “How many more innocent American lives must be taken before we say ‘enough’?” 21 House Democrats urge party leaders to split gun law package


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