- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 27, 2020

Democrats on Thursday renewed their demands for the Senate to take up background check legislation, ramping up the pressure on a key election issue as the 2020 elections approach.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and a handful of other Democratic lawmakers held a press conference to condemn Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for ignoring the two House-passed background check bills.

“Sen. McConnell, we have a question for you. Why do you think your political survival is more important than the survival of our children? Give us a vote,” said Mrs. Pelosi, California Democrat.

Thursday marked exactly one year since the two bills passed.

One would expand the background check system, which covers gun transactions involving licensed dealers, to include nearly all trades, sales or gifts. The other would extend the time federal agencies have to process a background check before the sale goes through.

They also called for an updated assault weapons ban. Neither chamber has passed such a bill, but in the House, where Democrats have the majority, legislation sponsored by Rep. David Cicilline, Rhode Island Democrat, already has the support of 216 lawmakers.

The Democratic rally came one day after a Molson Coors brewery employee attacked the complex in Wisconsin, killing five people in a shooting spree and himself.

“We’ve endured so many of these tragedies over and over and over,” said Mr. Schumer, New York Democrat. “President Trump said yesterday that his heart is breaking for the victims and the families. Enough words, President Trump — how about a little action? We don’t believe your words.”

After a string of deadly shootings broke out over the summer recess, momentum for a bipartisan deal on gun control surged on Capitol Hill.

Democrats were hopeful that public pressure would be enough to break through the partisan stalemate in Washington, but no bipartisan agreement could be reached.

Mr. McConnell said he was waiting for Mr. Trump to approve of a plan before putting any legislation to a vote in his chamber.

Democrats, accusing Republicans of being bought off by the National Rife Association, told their supporters that the only way to move forward on gun control would be to defeat Republicans at the ballot box in November.

“They will continue to do nothing because they will not learn the lesson and they’ve shown that for the last 20 years,” said House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, New York Democrat. “So its up to all of us to stop the murder and the mayhem by supporting this legislation and by voting out the Republicans. Mitch McConnell is just one of them.”

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