Immediately following a pair of mass shooting incidents over the weekend, President Trump called for bipartisan cooperation in tackling solutions to preventing future incidents.
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is answering that call.
In a statement released online, McConnell said: “Today, the president called on Congress to work in a bipartisan, bicameral way to address the recent mass murders which have shaken our nation. Senate Republicans are prepared to do our part.”
“Today, I spoke with Chairman Graham of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Chairman Wicker of the Senate Commerce Committee, and Chairman Alexander of the Senate HELP Committee,” the top Senate Republican continued. “I asked them to reflect on the subjects the president raised within their jurisdictions and encouraged them to engage in bipartisan discussions of potential solutions to help protect our communities without infringing on Americans’ constitutional rights.”
He added: “It was serious, bipartisan work that led to last year’s successful passage of the Fix NICS Act and the STOP School Violence Act. Only serious, bipartisan, bicameral efforts will enable us to continue this important work and produce further legislation that can pass the Senate, pass the House, and earn the president’s signature. Partisan theatrics and campaign-trail rhetoric will only take us farther away from the progress all Americans deserve.”
— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) August 5, 2019
At least two Republican Senators are proposing their own ideas to prevent future tragedies, including expanding “red flag” systems and background checks.
According to Politico, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham is set to propose a bill which would encourage states which do not currently have a “red flag” system in place to adopt one.
“The South Carolina Republican’s announcement came soon after President Donald Trump also called for such laws, which allow police and family members to request that a court temporarily restrict the access to firearms of people who may pose an imminent threat to themselves or others,” Politico reports.
“I spoke with the President this morning about this proposal and he seems very supportive,” Graham said in a statement. “Many of these shootings involved individuals who showed signs of violent behavior that are either ignored or not followed up. State Red Flag laws will provide the tools for law enforcement to do something about many of these situations before it’s too late.”
According to the same Politico report, Republican Senator Pat Toomey is looking to expand background checks for firearm purchases.
From the report:
Toomey told reporters Monday afternoon he had spoken with both Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell about his background checks bill. Toomey described Trump’s remarks on Twitter and in his speech as “encouraging.”