Republicans in the Senate block debate on gun policy
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Republicans in the Senate block debate on gun policy

A first attempt by Democrats to respond to the successive mass shootings in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas, has failed in the US Senate.

Republicans in the Senate block debate on gun policy

Republicans blocked a domestic terrorism bill that would have opened the debate on hate crimes and gun safety.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer tried to get Republicans to introduce a domestic terrorism bill swiftly approved by the House last week after mass shootings at a Buffalo supermarket and a Southern California church targeting people of color. He said it could become the basis for negotiations.

But Thursday’s vote backfired along party lines, raising new doubts about the possibility of a compromise on weapons security measures.

“We are disappointed,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said.

She said it is “embarrassing” that the National Rifle Association and others have stood in the way of such measures.

“The president has been clear that it is time to act,” she said.

The bill’s rejection, just two days after the mass shooting at a Texas elementary school that killed 19 children and two teachers, brought relief at Congress’ continued failure to pass legislation to end the country’s gun violence epidemic. Curb.

Schumer said he would conduct bipartisan negotiations in the Senate for two weeks to forge a compromise law.

A small, bipartisan group of about 10 senators who have tried to negotiate gun laws met for the second time Thursday afternoon.

They narrowed it down to three topics: background checks for guns purchased online or at gun shows, red flag laws designed to keep guns away from those who could harm themselves or others, and programs to increase safety in schools and other areas. to strengthen buildings.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham left the meeting, saying there is no need for a federal red flag bill or a so-called yellow flag bill — which would allow temporary seizure of firearms from people at risk of harming themselves or others if a doctor signs it.

But Graham said there could be interest in providing money to the states that already have or want to develop red flag laws. Senator Richard Blumenthal, who shared a draft during the meeting, will work with Graham on a possible compromise.

Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell, who has said little about gun laws since the various tragedies unfolded, told reporters he had previously met with Republican Senator John Cornyn of Texas and encouraged senators to gather across the aisle. Working on workable results.

“I’m hopeful that we can come up with a two-pronged solution directly related to the facts of this horrific massacre,” McConnell said.