Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell revealed to reporters that President Donald Trump’s White House is preparing to offer a proposal to combat gun violence in response to a recent string of deadly mass shootings.
According to The Hill, McConnell made it clear that he wasn’t ready to comment on such action until he hears full details of whatever Trump’s plan might be. He also indicated that the news came from White House legislative affairs director Eric Ueland after a Senate GOP lunch on Tuesday.
“These horrendous shootings, in my opinion, deserve a response. I hope we can get something that can actually become the law of the United States of America,” McConnell said.
The main issue that has seen some bipartisan support on the topic of gun violence laws are efforts by both Democrats and some Republicans to increase the stringency of background checks, to include universal background checks. The Democrat-led House passed a bill in February called the “Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019,” per The Inquisitr.
McConnell faced pressure over the summer to cut short the August recess in an effort to debate the House-passed bills, but instead said he’d rather wait until the Senate was back in session and that premature efforts to discuss the issue would be “frustrating.”
Speaker Nancy Pelosi attempted to go over McConnell’s head with a letter written to Trump asking him to use his executive powers to reconvene the Senate with hopes of debating the background check bills — a request that Trump denied.
When reporters asked McConnell on Tuesday if he believed that there was increased support for stricter background checks, McConnell diverted the question by telling reporters, “I can’t handicap the outcome.”
“We’re waiting for something we know if it passed would actually become law and until the White House gives us some indication of what the president is willing to sign, we’re waiting to see what it looks like,” he added.
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
McConnell then slammed Democrats for what he perceived as a lack of action on the issue while praising fellow Republicans, claiming they “are engaged here with a level of seriousness that I see as completely non-existent on the other side.”
He doubled down his attacks, calling Sen. Chuck Schumer and Speaker Pelosi’s request for Republicans to take up the House-passed background check bill on Monday a political “stunt,” citing his opinion that Trump would veto the bill, rendering the time spent as useless.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, a Wall Sreet Journal/NBC poll conducted in early August revealed that 89 percent of Americans are in favor of expanded background checks for firearms purchases.