Senator John Cornyn
Photo by Anna Moneymaker / Getty Images
- The leading Republican negotiator in the U.S. Senate’s efforts to draft a two-part gun security law left talks Thursday.
- Senator Chris Murphy remained optimistic that lawmakers could vote on legislation before leaving for a two-week break on July 4th.
- Thom Tillis and Murphy later said the negotiations were close to reaching agreement and added that the text of a bill could emerge in the coming days.
The leading Republican negotiator in the U.S. Senate’s efforts to draft a two-part gun security law left the negotiations on Thursday, while the lead Democrat remained optimistic that lawmakers could vote on legislation before leaving for a two-week break on July 4th.
“It’s fish or carved bait,” Senator John Cornyn said after hours of negotiations that included his fellow Republican Senator Thom Tillis and Democratic Senators Chris Murphy and Kyrsten Sinema.
“I do not know what they have in mind, but I’m done talking,” Cornyn said.
Tillis and Murphy later said, however, that the negotiations were close to reaching an agreement, adding that the text of a bill could emerge in the coming days.
The two-part group has been working on an agreement to curb gun violence since a gunman killed 19 schoolchildren and two adults in Uvalde, Texas, less than two weeks after a racist shooting in Buffalo, New York, left 10 dead. Negotiations have stalled in recent days.
Murphy, the leading Democratic negotiator, said:
It’s hard to land a deal like this. It comes with a lot of emotions. It comes with political risk for both sides. But we are close enough that we should be able to get there.
Murphy later issued a statement saying, “I think we can put this to the vote next week.”
The time to pass major legislation is running short as midterm elections on November 8, with Republicans seeking to regain control of Congress, approach.
Murphy and Tillis each told reporters that staff have begun drafting legal texts for most of the provisions that lawmakers have agreed on. Tillis suggested that the text could be available as early as Friday.
Tillis, who said he expected an agreement, declined to comment in detail on the negotiations: “We are too close and down to the final stages.”
The group announced a framework for measures to curb gun violence on Sunday. It did not go as far as Democrats including President Joe Biden had sought, but would still be the most significant action to combat gun violence that emerged from Congress for years if passed.
There was still disagreement on two main provisions: how to provide incentives for states to create “red flag” laws where weapons can be temporarily taken away from people considered dangerous; and the ‘girlfriend bribe’, which allows authorities to block abusive spouses from buying firearms, but does not cover “intimate partners” who are not married.
Cornyn, whose home state of Texas does not have a red flag law and is considered unlikely to pass one, wants funding for that provision to cover other efforts for people with mental illness, such as “crisis intervention programs.”
Tillis said negotiators were working on a mechanism that would allow federal funding for states that want to pass red flag laws and states that favor other intervention programs, with parity as the ultimate goal.
He also said lawmakers looked at existing state laws as models for the girlfriend’s loophole provision.
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The Republican is entering into negotiations on U.S. gun legislation, the Democrat remains hopeful
Source link The Republican is entering into negotiations on U.S. gun legislation, the Democrat remains hopeful