- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday said lawmakers are in a “holding pattern” on gun-related legislation until President Trump clearly articulates what kind of package he would support.

Mr. McConnell expressed an interest in acting in the wake of the recent shootings in Texas and Ohio, but reiterated that it will take support from the Democrat-controlled House, the Republican-controlled Senate, and Mr. Trump to get anything signed into law.

“I know I’m the majority leader, but I’m telling you, I want to know what the president supports - it’s not unimportant to my members,” the Kentucky Republican told reporters at the Capitol. “Until we get that kind of guidance, we’re in a holding pattern, so to speak.”

Democrats are pressing Mr. McConnell to take up House-passed legislation that would expand federal background checks to cover virtually all gun sales, but Mr. McConnell pointed out that the president has already indicated he would veto that bill.

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer said Mr. Trump has a chance to do something “different and courageous” on the issue of guns.

“I’ve said this before: there are only two people standing in the way - President Trump and Leader McConnell,” the New York Democrat said on Tuesday. “The president should use - finally use a little bit of his capital with Republicans to do the right thing and lead his party and this country to this historic opportunity of passing strong gun safety laws.”

Ms. Schumer and Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke by phone with the president over the weekend about the issue, though Mr. Schumer said Mr. Trump was noncommittal.

Senate Democrats were planning to take to the Senate floor later on Tuesday to tell stories about gun violence in a bid to try to force some legislative action.

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