Schumer Wants Trump to Redirect $5B in Border Money to Gun Initiatives

Remigio Civitarese
Agosto 14, 2019

Rallies will be planned this weekend to demand action on gun control, Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Tim Ryan said Tuesday, but he still finds it "appalling" that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to call in the Senate from recess to vote on House background check legislation.

It's been nearly two weeks since the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton that killed 22 and nine respectively, meaning the diversionary thoughts-and-prayers phase has ended, and the denial of gun control measures in the Senate can begin. Instead, he has instructed the chairs of three Senate committees to work on legislation that can be debated when lawmakers return from their recess on September 9.

The reason Mitch won't move the house bill improving background checks for gun purchases, which has been sitting on his desk for weeks, forward is because he was bought and paid for long ago. Schumer, the top Democrat in the Senate, is preparing a formal request to the White House asking President Trump to scratch his latest request for $5 billion in additional border wall money and to direct that cash toward gun safety and anti-terrorism efforts.

The White House has threatened that Trump would veto that bill, which the Democratic-led House approved largely along party lines.

"We know exactly why he isn't here".

A Senate version that would exempt from background checks all gun transfers, including sales between close family members, was also under consideration, the sources said.

Separately, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called on Trump to divert $5 billion he's wanted to build his wall along the southern border to investigating domestic terrorism and conducting research on gun violence.

"There's nobody more pro-Second Amendment than Donald Trump, but I don't want guns in the hands of a lunatic or a maniac", the president told reporters before boarding Air Force One on Tuesday.

"The dual scourges of gun violence and violent white supremacist extremism in this country are a national security threat plain and simple, and it's time the Trump administration and Republicans in Congress starting treating them as such", Schumer, D-N.Y., said in a statement.

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