Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on Thursday in Washington he wants Congress to consider legislation to expand federal background checks and other gun violence measures when lawmakers return in the fall.
The Republican leader told a Kentucky radio station that President Donald Trump called him Thursday morning and they talked about several ideas. The president, he said, is “anxious to get an outcome and so am I.”
This comes in the aftermath of the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, over the weekend that killed 31 people.
“Background checks and red flags will probably lead the discussion,” the Senate leader said, referring to legislation that allows authorities to seize firearms from someone deemed a threat to themselves or others.
The Republican leader has been under pressure to call senators back to Washington from their summer recess to work on gun measures. He rejected that idea, saying it would just lead to senators “scoring points and nothing would happen.”
McConnell wants to spend the August recess talking with Democratic and Republican senators to see what’s possible.
“What we can’t do is fail to pass something,” McConnell said. “What I want to see here is an outcome.”
More than 200 mayors, are urging the Senate to return to the Capitol to act on gun safety legislation amid criticism that Congress is failing to respond to back-to-back shootings that left 31 people dead.
The mayors urged the Senate to vote on two House-passed bills expanding background checks for gun sales that passed that chamber earlier this year. It was signed by El Paso, Texas; Mayor Dee Margo, Dayton, Ohio, Mayor Nan Whaley; and others where mass shootings have occurred, including Orlando and Parkland, Florida, Pittsburgh and Annapolis, Maryland.
GOP senators are also considering changes to the existing federal background checks system, modeled on the so-called fix-NICS law signed last year that improved the National Instant Criminal Background Check system, as well as strengthening penalties for hate crimes.
Includes reporting from The Associated Press