Senate Democrats search for path forward on gun control after Texas shooting

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Washington — Senate Democratic leaders connected Wednesday implored Republican senators to driblet their steadfast absorption to weapon power authorities portion signaling that the precocious enclosure won't instantly determination to ballot connected authorities successful the aftermath of the deadly shooting astatine a Texas simple school that near 19 children and 2 adults dead. 

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer laid the groundwork connected Tuesday to bring votes connected authorities expanding transgression inheritance checks and lengthening the waiting play for weapon buyers who are flagged for further investigation, though Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin said those weapon power measures oregon others volition apt not beryllium taken up until aft the Senate's Memorial Day recess.

"We are going to ballot connected weapon legislation," Schumer said Wednesday afternoon. "The American radical are bushed of moments of silence, bushed of the benignant words offering thoughts and prayers."

On the Senate level earlier Wednesday, Schumer suggested thing tin beryllium accomplished without Republican support, fixed that 60 votes are required to flooded a filibuster successful the evenly divided Senate. Schumer said helium understands the tendency for senators to beryllium connected the record, but voters cognize wherever Republicans stand.

"So what bash we bash astir it, if the slaughter of schoolhouse children can't person Republicans to subordinate the NRA, what tin we do?" Schumer asked. "There are immoderate who privation this assemblage to rapidly ballot connected sensible weapon information legislation, authorities supported by the immense bulk of Americans — Democrats, Republicans and independents alike — that privation to spot this assemblage ballot rapidly truthful the American radical tin cognize which broadside each legislator is on, which broadside each legislator is on. I'm sympathetic to that. And I judge that accountability votes are important. But sadly, this isn't a lawsuit of the American radical not knowing wherever their senators stand, they know. They cognize due to the fact that my Republican colleagues are perfectly wide connected this issue." 

Schumer said Americans should "cast their ballot successful November" and enactment candidates who volition code weapon crimes and wide shootings. 

"In the meantime, my Republican colleagues tin enactment with america now," helium continued. "I cognize this is simply a slim prospect, precise slim, all-too slim. We've been burnt truthful galore times before. But this is truthful important."

Senate Luncheons 5/24/22 Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer holds a quality league astatine the Capitol connected Tuesday, May 24, 2022. Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Manchin reiterated that helium volition not enactment eliminating the filibuster to walk weapon power legislation, meaning immoderate connection would request to pull enactment from astatine slightest 10 Republicans.

"Everyone wants to spell conscionable to the, 'Filibuster, filibuster, filibuster. Get escaped of that,'" Manchin said. "That's the easy, casual mode out. The bottommost enactment is if this doesn't determination you, thing will."

Durbin said helium would beryllium gathering with Democrats connected the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Democrats are readying hearings connected weapon unit arsenic well. 

Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut, who represented the territory that included Sandy Hook Elementary School during the deadly shooting determination astir a decennary agone arsenic a subordinate of the House, said helium had been connected the telephone each greeting with Republican and Democratic colleagues to effort to find a legislative way forward. 

"Right now, we request to beryllium successful the concern of signaling to the American nationalist and parents who are panicking close present that we're superior astir protecting their kids," Murphy told reporters Wednesday morning. "So whether it's a smaller enlargement of the inheritance cheque system, whether it's reddish emblem laws, I conscionable deliberation we person to find a way to 'yes.'"

Republican Sen. Pat Toomey told reporters he's been successful interaction with Murphy, and that helium remains funny successful expanding the inheritance cheque system. Toomey has been a proponent of expanding inheritance checks for years, but the authorities has ne'er passed the Senate.

But Sen. Chris Coons, a Democrat from Delaware, said helium doesn't person immoderate anticipation that Republicans volition alteration their minds.

"They are disturbed, upset, troubled, but not consenting to alteration wherever they are legislating," Coons said of his GOP colleagues. "This is simply a atrocious day. This is simply a atrocious time for anything, adjacent vaguely looking similar anticipation oregon optimism astir legislative process oregon progress."

GOP Sen. Marco Rubio said Wednesday the "issue present is not the firearm." 

"Listen, astatine the extremity of time you're arguing astir what they're utilizing but the information of substance is these radical are going to perpetrate these horrifying crimes, whether they person to usage different limb they're gonna fig retired a mode to bash it," Rubio told reporters astatine the Capitol.

In an emotional address Tuesday night, President Biden urged Congress to walk "common-sense" weapon legislation.

"As a nation, we person to ask, erstwhile successful God's sanction are we going to basal up to the weapon lobby?" Mr. Biden said. "When successful God's sanction volition we bash what we each cognize successful our gut needs to beryllium done?" 

In: United States Senate Gun Law successful the United States

Kathryn Watson


Kathryn Watson is simply a authorities newsman for CBS News Digital based successful Washington, D.C.