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Congressional Democrats Push For Floor Votes On Gun Control

House and Senate Democrats are calling for votes on stalled bills – including measures blocking people on terrorist watch lists from buying firearms – before the July 4 recess. Republican leaders aren’t budging.


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Congressional Democrats are pressing Republican leaders to let members vote on pending gun control bills. The effort comes in the wake of Sunday's mass shooting at a nightclub in Orlando.

House Democratic Caucus Chair Xavier Becerra says Congress should not break for the upcoming July 4th recess without a vote on a "no fly, no buy" bill. "If you can't fly because you're on a watch list by our government, and you are not allowed on an airplane, you should not be allowed to enter a gun shop and walk out with an assault weapon," Becerra says.

Houston Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee introduced a related bill, cosponsored by Orlando Congresswoman Corrine Brown. The bill would require anyone trying to buy a gun to inform the seller of contact with any federal law enforcement officials within the past 24 months. The seller would then have to inform federal authorities.

Jackson Lee says such a measure could have stopped Orlando gunman Omar Mateen from buying the weapons he used.

"I think it'll be immoral for us to leave this week without acting when we have the capacity legislatively to act," she says.

The moves came as Senate Democrats filibustered an appropriations bill, in order to get the upper chamber to vote on a pair of gun control measures. A handful of Republican senators in close races have said they would consider voting for "no fly, no buy" bill. But GOP leaders oppose virtually any gun control legislation, making it unlikely a bill will pass this year.

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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media's coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments across Greater Houston. Before taking up his current post, Andrew spent five years as Houston Public Media's business reporter, covering the oil...

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