Amid nationwide outrage over Tuesday’s massacre at a Texas elementary school in Uvalde, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Thursday he would not hold votes on two House-passed gun control bills until Congress early next month after a week-long election Pause returns – shows the uphill rise of every anti-gun measure faces in Congress.
In remarks in the Senate, Schumer (D-NY) said the delay was intended to give GOP and Democrat senators more time to work out a compromise bill, but warned, “If these negotiations don’t bear fruit, the Senate will vote on a gun safety regulation.” when we return.”
The House of Representatives has already passed two bills aimed at expanding background checks on potential gun buyers, but Schumer initially indicated he was reluctant after Tuesday’s shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, which killed 19 children and two teachers to get them to speak.
“I believe that accountability votes are important, but unfortunately this is not a case where the American people do not know where their senators stand,” Schumer told reporters Wednesday. “You know. You know because my fellow Republicans are perfectly clear on this issue, crystal clear. Republicans don’t pretend to support sane gun safety legislation.”
Schumer, however, had no such concerns about “accountability votes” earlier this month when he asked yes and no votes to open debate on legislation that expanded access to abortion nationwide after a Supreme Court draft leaked the Roe v. Wade picked up. The result was a foregone conclusion: All 50 Senate Democrats and Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia voted against the measure.
Both the Bipartisan Background Checks Act passed by the House and the Enhanced Background Check Act would suffer a similar fate in the evenly divided Senate. Both measures passed the House of Representatives with bipartisan support in March 2021, but have suffered in the Senate.
Federal law currently requires licensed firearms sellers to conduct background checks on potential gun owners, but does not impose the same requirement for online sales or purchases at gun shows.
Gun rights advocates and Republicans say the measure would do little to stop mass shootings, pointing out that recent massacres bought their guns from licensed dealers, thereby passing a background check before in some cases illegally modifying the guns have to commit maximum bloodshed.
Similar proposed controls, such as creating a federal register of all gun transactions and denying firearms to anyone on a terror watch list or no-fly list, have been condemned as unconstitutional.
Gun control bills have repeatedly failed in Congress over the past decade, largely because they failed to garner the 60 votes needed to rise in the Senate.
Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) attempted to pass the Enhanced Background Check Act unanimously in December after a Michigan high school shooting in December, but Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) dissented and thwarted the move.
In 2013, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) attempted to pass bipartisan legislation to expand background checks following the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, but the bill was six votes short of proceeding to debate.
After the May 14 mass shooting at a Buffalo grocery store, Manchin said his and Toomey’s bill was “the most agreed upon” and “the most accepted in the country, and we can’t even enforce that.”
Toomey also expressed skepticism that the package could happen, telling the Washington Post that a popular Republican president has the best chance of enforcing a federal gun law. The Pennsylvania lawmaker also announced that the White House has not contacted him about working on possible legislation.
Elsewhere in his speeches, Schumer called Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott a “cheater” for his comments after a confrontation with his Democratic opponent Beto O’Rourke at a press conference Wednesday.
“The MAGA governor gave some empty platitudes about healing and hope. He urged people to put their plans aside and think of someone other than themselves,” Schumer said. “Oh dear God. How dare he? What an absolute scam.”
Noting that Abbott is scheduled to speak at the National Rife Association convention in Houston on Friday, Schumer suggested that the Texas governor would take the opportunity to “outline a new plan to further relax gun restrictions.”
“For MAGA Republicans, no bloodshed seems enough,” he said, referring to former President Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan.
The Senate is scheduled to adjourn for the Memorial Day holiday and return on June 6.
https://nypost.com/2022/05/26/schumer-punts-gun-check-vote-to-next-month-while-blasting-texas-gov-abbott-as-fraud/ Schumer stuns gun check vote to next month while blasting Texas Gov. Abbott as a ‘fraud’