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Senate GOP blocks domestic terrorism bill, gun policy debate

Senate Schumer
Posted at 11:55 AM, May 26, 2022

Democrats’ first attempt at responding to the back-to-back mass shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde, Texas, has failed in the Senate.

Republicans on Thursday blocked debate on a domestic terrorism bill that would have opened debate on domestic terrorism, hate crimes, and gun policy. The final vote was 47-47, short of the 60 needed to take up the bill.

Sen. Susan Collins of Maine was the only Republican to vote yes. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer says he will give bipartisan negotiations in the Senate about two weeks while Congress is away for a break — to try to forge a compromise bill that could pass the Senate.

Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy said he is having conversations with moderate Republican colleagues in hopes of a compromise bill on gun laws.

"If we don’t succeed, we’re having votes. We’re putting people on the record. One way or another we’re going to have a debate here. We’re going to force people to tell America which side they are on. So we are going to work our tails off to try to get that compromise, but we are not going away, we are not being silent."

Several Republican senators have expressed an openness to finding common ground with Democrats on new gun laws.

Renewed calls for enhanced background checks and red flag laws come after 21 were killed in a Texas elementary school

"I think the background checks are bills we should get a positive vote on," Democratic Montana Sen. John Tester said. "We should get 70, or 80 people in the senate to do that because I think that makes perfect sense. And let's get that done — should get that done because I think it would send a great message to the American people that we're aware of what's going on out there."

Some Republicans are mostly opposed to any sort of new gun laws

"I think we have plenty of laws on the books about owning guns. We have red flag logs throughout the nation. Sometimes they work sometimes they don't," Republican South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham said.

The White House has urged Congress to act on gun control legislation.

"We're disappointed that congress did not move forward with the legislation that would strengthen our response to domestic terror incidents like we saw in Buffalo," White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said, "We need Congress to act on that. And we need Congress to advance common-sense measures that we know will save lives when it comes to gun violence."