| November 06, 2019 04:51 PM
Democratic leaders urged President Trump to support a House-passed bill expanding background checks for gun purchases.
“We believe that you have an historic opportunity to save lives, simply by reaffirming your clear support for strengthening background checks, which you have publicly supported before, which are supported by more than 90 percent of the public and which are ready to be brought to the Senate Floor,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer wrote to Trump on Wednesday.
Trump had been in negotiations with a bipartisan group of lawmakers on a measure to expand background checks.
The talks had been struggling over partisan differences and negotiations stalled altogether in late September once Pelosi announced the start of formal impeachment proceedings against the president.
Trump blamed Democrats for derailing negotiations in favor of attempting to eject him from office.
Pelosi and Schumer wrote in Wednesday’s letter that Trump had pledged to take action on gun control after a string of deadly mass shootings over the summer.
Democrats blamed gun advocacy groups, not their own impeachment efforts, for derailing a deal on a gun control bill.
“Unfortunately, there are indications you have reversed your support for passing gun violence prevention legislation,” Pelosi and Schumer wrote to Trump. “Sadly, it has been reported that this is because of concerns about your re-election and a desire to appease special interests like the NRA.”
Democrats want Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Trump to support a House-passed bill expanding background checks to all gun purchases and making it illegal for nonlicensed dealers to sell guns.
The House-passed bill earned only a handful of GOP support and cannot pass the GOP-led Senate.
A small bipartisan Senate group was working on a background check measure that was similar but less expansive than the House-passed bill, but that legislation also faced steep GOP opposition.