House GOP leaders oppose bipartisan gun deal as Senate heads for passage

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California and House Minority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana announced at a closed-door conference on Wednesday that they were both “no to the bipartisan Senate gun deal, according to a source in the room.

House GOP conference chairwoman Elise Stefanik of New York said in a statement that she also plans to vote against the bill, which means the top 3 House Republican leadership are all united. to oppose the law.

House GOP leaders also plan to formally organize against the bipartisan Senate gun bill, according to Republican sources. An official whip notice is expected to be released on Wednesday.

But even with House GOP leaders opposing the bill, some Republican members have already indicated they plan to vote for it, and the Democratic-controlled House should be able to pass the legislation a once it has been passed in the Senate.

The Senate appears to be on track to pass the measure as early as this week. If passed, it would be the most significant new federal legislation to address gun violence since the expiration of the 10-year assault weapons ban in 1994 – although it will not ban no guns and fall far short of what Democrats and polls show most Americans want to see.
Republican Representative Tony Gonzales announcement on Twitter on Wednesday that he intends to vote yes on the bipartisan gun bill, saying, “As a member of Congress, it is my duty to pass laws that do not violate never the Constitution while protecting the lives of innocent people.”

Gonzales represents Uvalde, Texas, where a recent elementary school mass shooting shocked the nation and caused public outcry.

“In the coming days, I look forward to voting YES on the bipartisan Safer Communities Act,” Gonzales said.

GOP Rep. Fred Upton of Michigan also told CNN he was a “yes” on the bill.

GOP Senate negotiator seeks to boost Republican support

The Senate voted to move the bill forward Tuesday night, a key step toward final passage. And the chamber appears poised to pass the legislation soon after 14 GOP senators voted with Democrats in Tuesday’s procedural vote – more than the 10 required to join Democrats in overcoming a filibuster on the bill. . A vote to overcome a filibuster is expected to take place on Thursday.

In a slide presentation Sen. John Cornyn presented to Senate Republicans over lunch on Wednesday, which was provided to CNN by a GOP source, the Texas Republican walked through areas where the National Rifle Association felt like she wanted – even though the pro-gun lobby is opposed to the deal.

Among the issues Cornyn noted: ensuring that the patch to close the “boyfriend loophole” doesn’t apply retroactively to former domestic abusers and only applies to recent relationships. He also noted due process rules for states that enforce red flag laws, and a 10-year sunset provision to ensure that all enhanced background checks to allow for the search of juvenile records will be “repealed” in a decade. He’s also promoted $300 million in “hardening schools” and $12 billion in mental health funding when the NRA wins.

The effort was part of a sell-out job to boost GOP support beyond the 14 Republicans who voted to open the debate, but a majority of Senate Republicans are still expected to oppose. to the bill.

Still, the legislation marks the first major federal gun safety measure in a generation, an important achievement in a highly polarized political environment where gun policy is one of the most contentious issues.

The bill includes millions of dollars for mental health, school safety, crisis intervention programs and incentives for states to include minors’ records in the nation’s instant criminal background check system.

It also makes significant changes to the process when someone between the ages of 18 and 21 goes to buy a gun and closes the so-called boyfriend loophole, a major victory for Democrats, who have fought for a decade to that.

Contrary to the decision of the top 3 House Republican leaders to oppose the bill, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said he plans to support it.

McConnell on Wednesday hailed the bipartisan gun violence legislation as a “common-sense, grassroots set of solutions to make these horrific incidents less likely” that won’t “affect the rights of the overwhelming majority of American gun owners.” who are law-abiding and sane citizens.”

He said past attempts to pass legislation to curb mass shootings in schools and elsewhere have stalled because Democrats have tried to “roll back” Second Amendment rights.

“This time it’s different. This time the Democrats came to us and agreed to offer common sense solutions without diminishing the rights of law-abiding citizens. The result is a product I’m proud to support.” , McConnell told the Senate.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer reiterated Wednesday that he intends to “ensure final passage” of the bipartisan gun safety legislation before the end of the week.

“I now intend to move the process forward quickly and secure final passage before the end of the week,” Schumer said in remarks on the floor.

He pointed to the 64 senators who supported moving the bill forward on Tuesday night, as “an unmistakable sign of the broad support and momentum behind this bill.

This story was updated with additional developments on Wednesday.

CNN’s Manu Raju, Sarah Fortinsky, Ali Zaslav and Ted Barrett contributed to this report.


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