WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday signaled bipartisan talks on gun legislation
- McConnell said he asked Sen. John Cornyn to negotiate with Senate Democrats.
- A group of five Democrats and three Republicans had a meeting on Thursday to lay out a plan for negotiations.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has asked Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) to negotiate with Democratic senators on a “bipartisan solution” to curb gun violence.
McConnell told CNN that he encouraged Cornyn to talk to Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) “and others who are interested in trying to get an outcome that’s directly related to the problem.”
“And so I am hopeful that we could come up with a bipartisan solution that’s directly related to the facts of this awful massacre,” he said.
McConnell noted he’s interested in coming up with legislation that will directly address the circumstances of the Texas school shooting and does not advance the Democrats’ agenda.
Since the shooting happened in Texas, Senate Democrats had expressed their interest in having Cornyn as the point of contact for negotiation. Cornyn has shown willingness and compassion to work with Democrats on previous similar issues.
Senate legislators of both parties held small-group discussions to gauge bipartisan support for the passage of bills following the Texas elementary school shooting.
However, any gun-related legislation would require 60 votes to pass the Senate.
On Thursday, Senate Republicans blocked a bill that would have created new federal offices focused on domestic terrorism.
The vote on the bill was set by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer in response to a shooting in a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, where the gunman fatally shot 10 Black people.
O Thursday, a group of five Democrats and three Republicans had a meeting in the Capitol to begin the layout for negotiations, focusing on expanded background checks and red flag legislation.
Sens. Murphy, Sinema, Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) attended the meeting.
Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) was in attendance via phone.
Source: The Hill