Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) indicated on Wednesday that he will not immediately bring gun control measures to the floor, pointing to Republican opposition.
Instead, the Democratic leader said he will wait for Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) and other members of his caucus to try to negotiate a bipartisan compromise with Republicans on a measure that has a better chance of securing 60 votes to overcome a filibuster.
“There are some who want this body to quickly vote on sensible gun safety legislation, legislation supported by the vast majority of Americans,” he said. “They want to see this body vote quickly so the American people can know which side each senator is on …. I’m sympathetic to that, and I believe that accountability votes are important.”
But Schumer said he thought that bringing gun-control legislation in the immediate aftermath of Buffalo and Uvalde, where two lone shooters left a total of 31 people dead in the span of 10 days, would be fruitless because of staunch Republican opposition to such reforms.
He noted that Republicans opposed proposals to expand background checks, ban assault-style weapons and prohibit high-capacity magazines after a gunman killed 20 children at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., in 2012.
“If the slaughter of schoolchildren can’t convince Republicans to buck the NRA, what can we do?” he said, referring to the National Rifle Association.
“Sadly, this isn’t a case of the American people now knowing where their senators stand. They know. They know because my Republican colleagues are perfectly clear on this issue. Crystal clear.”
“Republicans don’t pretend that they support sensible gun safety legislation. They don’t pretend to be moved by the fact that 90 percent of Americans, regardless of party, support something as common sense as background checks, that the vast majority of gun owners support the background checks bill,” he said.
Schumer said he would hold legislation from the floor to give Murphy and other colleagues a chance to negotiate bipartisan legislation that has a better chance of passing.
“Americans can cast their vote in November for senators or members of Congress that reflect how he or she stands with guns,” he said. “In the meantime, my Republican colleagues can work with us now. I know this is a slim prospect, very slim, all too slim. We’ve been burnt so many times before. But this is so important.”
Schumer called the prospects of a bipartisan deal “slim,” arguing Democrats have been “burnt in the past” by Republicans. “Democrats have been trying to work hard with Republicans, Sen. Murphy, Sen. Manchin, on legislation that will eventually pass and become law,” he said. “The other side has refused. There are so many options available to us. So many ideas. We just need some brave Republicans to stand before history and yell stop.”
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: NBC NEWS
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