The House Judiciary Committee will consider bills to protect Americans from gun violence while the Senate still refuses to do so.
House Judiciary Committee members will cut their August break short to get to work on gun violence, in an effort to increase pressure on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to act, the Washington Post reported Tuesday.
Some members want to reinstate the assault weapons ban that expired 15 years ago, while others want to focus on legislation that is more likely to attract bipartisan support. But all House Democrats agree that something needs to be done.
They already passed two major pieces of gun safety legislation in February: the Bipartisan Background Checks Act and the Enhanced Background Checks Act. However, McConnell has refused to allow the Senate to vote on either bill.
The mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton earlier this month have led to calls for the Senate to end their break early to address gun violence.
House Democrats held a press conference Tuesday with Americans impacted by gun violence, in hopes of pressuring McConnell to take action on the issue.
"I'm here today to represent the young people all across America who've had their lives ripped apart by gun violence," 18-year-old Jaxon O'Mara said at the press event. "I'm here today to represent the young people who want a change. I'm here today to tell Sen. McConnell that it's time to take immediate action on gun violence."
Thus far, McConnell has dismissed calls like O'Mara's as mere "theatrics," refusing to interrupt his August vacation to address gun violence. In the past, some senators, including North Carolina Republican Thom Tillis, demanded the Senate skip its August break to work on issues. But this August, Tillis and other Republicans are silent on the issue.
While McConnell brushes off the work of legislators to reduce gun violence, members of the House will end their break early and try to figure out how to keep Americans safe.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.