House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., was quick out of the gate at a press conference on Monday to all but threaten Senate Republicans if they fail to pass a universal background check bill.
Congress had just returned to Washington after break.
“Some of the gun violence prevention groups have upped the ante even further to say that if this bill is not passed, Mitch McConnell and Republicans in the Senate and the president will have hell to pay,” Pelosi said. “So let’s save time.”
Congress is back in town for the first time since the shootings in El Paso and Odessa, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, and Democrats wasted no time in grandstanding, using the deaths of 38 people to push their gun control agenda.
Pelosi’s remarks came at a Monday news conference, where she was joined by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and other Democrats, to include the mayor of Dayton, Ohio.
How many lives must be lost or permanently scarred before the @SenateGOP will act to put an end to gun violence? Tune in as Democrats call on @SenateMajLdr to take action on House-passed legislation to close background check loopholes. #EndGunViolence https://t.co/txJvNfN3qL
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) September 9, 2019
The Pelosi-led House passed a background checks bill in February, but there is little chance that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment, will move the legislation in the upper chamber.
Eight Republicans in the House voted in favor of the legislation, which is more than enough for Pelosi to call it a “bipartisan” effort.
Naturally, it’s all about the children — after all, they are Democrats.
“I’ve talked to Leader McConnell about getting something done,” Pelosi said. “There isn’t anyone in this institution or anywhere else in public life whose political survival is more important than the survival of our children and the safety of our communities.”
“We’re not taking ‘no’ for an answer, and we are not going away,” she added.
Falling back on polling, Pelosi said the vast majority of Americans favor background checks on all sales of firearms.
A timely Washington Post-ABC News poll was released Monday showing that 89 percent of respondents support requiring background checks for all potential gun buyers — to include 83 percent of Republicans.
Of course, we know how reliable polls are, where the outcome can be shaped based on how questions are presented and who is responding.
Speaker Pelosi took a cheap shot at McConnell, calling her Republican colleague the “Grim Reaper.”
“What courage does it take to support legislation that will save lives?” Pelosi said. “So here we are, once again asking the Grim Reaper, informing the Grim Reaper that these bills are alive and well in the public.”
Schumer put the onus squarely on McConnell and President Trump.
“Background checks are the base from which we must do anything,” he said. “Two people in Washington can decide if the background check bill passes: Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell. It is totally up to them and is on their shoulders. They can’t escape that responsibility.”
It is also their responsibility to uphold the right to bear arms, as guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution.
The president gave some indication after the El Paso and Dayton shooting that he may support universal background checks, but distanced himself from that stance last week while talking to reporters at the White House.
Trump distances himself from background checks: ‘Would not have stopped any of it’ https://t.co/WLsQdLRoVG
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) September 2, 2019
Trump said the administration is talking to Democrats and Republicans in Congress, and they are “doing a package” to address a rash of mass shootings, but he wasn’t too keen on background checks, saying that “they would not have stopped any of it.”
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