US House Speaker Paul Ryan will allow a vote on one gun control measure as the lower legislative chamber reconvenes after Independence Day weekend, but firearm safety advocates do not have a reason to celebrate yet.
Speaker Ryan is under a lot of pressure from hardline conservative lawmakers for allowing the Democratic “sit-in” protest against inaction on gun control to continue for as long as it did two weeks ago. Firearm safety has been at the center of the national debate following the killing of 49 people at an LGBT nightclub in Orlando, but partisan divisions have stalled any progress. The “no fly, no buy” bill that led to the sit-in was justifiably prevented by Republicans, but the new legislation offers a reasonable compromise. Instead of scrapping due process for government watch lists, the new bill allows the attorney general to prevent a suspected terrorist from purchasing a firearm for three days – similar to an NRA-backed proposal presented in the Senate. However, gun safety advocates on both sides of the debate should expect more partisan bickering and little legislative action.
Paul Ryan Struggles To Keep Republicans In Line On Gun Control
Democratic leaders fumed over what they called Republican obstructionism before the last House session ended. While the GOP did offer gun control bills of their own, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi slammed the proposals for being too weak.
“Americans are fed up with Republicans’ dangerous obstruction of bipartisan, common sense gun violence legislation,” Pelosi said in a statement.
Faced with almost certain defeat in the GOP-controlled House of Representatives, Democrats are eyeing other ways to ensure the American public is on their side. Their 25-hour sit-in successfully drew attention to their cause, but did not convince Paul Ryan to allow a vote. The Speaker dismissed the move as a low-blow publicity stunt in the wake of a tragedy.
“We will not take this,” he said. “We will not tolerate this.”
Ryan pledged not to allow similar disruptions in the future, but has agreed to meet with several of the protest’s organizers. The Speaker will meet with Connecticut Rep. John Larson and Georgia Rep. John Lewis on Tuesday to discuss possible bipartisan gun control reforms.
Slate expects nothing to get done
Whether anything useful will come of the vote remains to be seen, though; Ryan apparently didn’t say what specifically would be proposed, and five different gun amendments have already failed in recent weeks in the Senate…Expect more squabbling and speech-giving, and maybe some voting, but not a whole lot of actual gun legislating.
Christian Science Monitor says gun control is a winning issue
Advocates of gun-safety regulation feel encouraged, with many saying the country is reaching a tipping point. They describe a slow boil of anger and fear about gun deaths – now combined with terrorism. They cite a frustrating disconnect between public opinion and a non responsive Congress.
New York Times expects a bitter fight from both sides
[Another sit-in protest] could set off some post-holiday fireworks since Speaker Paul D. Ryan has indicated that he will not tolerate such actions, and he is under pressure from Republican lawmakers to crack down on Democrats if they get out of hand again. It promises to be a tense few days in the House.