1. SOUNDBITE: (English) Rep. Steny Hoyer, (D) Maryland / House Majority Leader:
"Five months ago, on February 27, 2019, the House of Representatives passed a bill, H.R. 8, a bill that is supported by over 95 percent of Americans, passed the House of Representatives and sent to the United States Senate where, sadly, it languishes. Is it the solution to all this violence? It is not. But 95 percent of Americans support it because they believe it is a significant and important step to take in the face of this violence."
2. SOUNDBITE: (English) Wendy Edmonds, Sister of mass shooting victim Sylvia Frasier:
"At what point are you outraged Senate Leader McConnell? When will you be moved beyond following such a toxic decision to remain silent on legislation passed by the House in February? When will you invigorate a courageous move and bring H.R. 8 to the floor? When is that going to take place? We must stand in the gap for those who have gone on before us and for those who are here now because unfortunately we're all subjuect to mass shootings. To Senate Leader McConnell, you're overdue. It's time to lead the Senate to pass H.R. 8."
Democrats are pressing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to take action on curbing guns, fueled by public outrage over this month's mass killings in Texas and Ohio.
It was unclear what if any impact Democrats' moves would have on the capital's top Republicans. Both Trump and McConnell have expressed a new openness to unspecified gun curbs following recent back-to-back mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, but their decisions will be based on the sentiment of fellow Republicans, not predictable pressure tactics by Democrats.
Still, the Democrats' moves underscore a shift to an issue that largely unites them — responding to the massacres that killed 31 people — and away from the party's hand-wringing over whether to impeach Trump, a question that deeply divides Democrats.
No. 2 House Democrat Steny Hoyer and other Democrats held a news conference to call on McConnell to let his chamber vote on a House-passed measure requiring background checks for nearly all gun purchases. Congress is currently on recess. But Democrats organized the press conference in the U.S. Capitol Tuesday while the House is on recess. Family members and advocates of victims of gun violence also spoke a the press conference.
"At what point are you outraged Senate Leader McConnell? When will you be moved beyond following such a toxic decision to remain silent on legislation passed by the House in February?" asked Wendy Edmonds, whose sister Sylvia Frasier was killed in the Washington Navy Yard mass shooting in 2013.
"To Senate Leader McConnell, you're overdue. It's time to lead the Senate to pass H.R. 8," said Edmonds.
The Democratic-run House Judiciary Committee is also considering returning from summer recess to hold early September votes on gun control legislation, according to people familiar with the panel's plans who weren't authorized to speak on the record.
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Mitch McConnell , Steny Hoyer
United States House of Representatives, United States Congress, United States government, U.S. Democratic Party, United States Senate