Reid: ‘We Don’t Have The Votes’ To Pass Gun Legislation
WASHINGTON (CBS DC/AP) — Just one day after a mass shooting left 13 dead in the nation’s capital, federal gun legislation is likely to stay stalled in Congress.
In April, federal legislation for background checks fell six votes short in the Senate despite political momentum driven by the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre last December that killed 26, including 20 children. Gun control aides and advocates say little has changed to push through any similar laws.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., vowed to continue the gun control push, but conceded that a bill similar to the one crafted by Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Pat Toomey, R-Pa., in the wake of the Newtown school shooting could not immediately be brought back to the floor.
“We’re going to move this up as quickly as we can but we’ve got to have the votes first,” Reid told reporters, according to The Hill. “We don’t have the votes. I hope we get them but we don’t have them now.”
Talking about background checks, Reid said, “We want to stop people who have mental illness from buying a gun. We want to stop people who are felons from being able to purchase a gun.”
The Washington Navy Yard killings reignited the gun legislation debate among many others in Congress just hours after 34-year-old Aaron Alexis killed 12 in Washington D.C. on Monday. Alexis died in a gun battle with police.
“My advice to Reid is, if there’s any indication of change or movement in a positive direction, we should consider it. But so far I’ve not seen that,” said Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., according to The Hill. “I’m listening to see if any of my colleagues are willing to change their vote on Manchin-Toomey.”
“I’ve not heard anything yet,” added Durbin.
“Congress must stop shirking its responsibility and resume a thoughtful debate on gun violence in this country,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat who has led efforts to ban assault weapons, in a statement Monday evening.
Reid responded that he would be happy to have help seeking additional votes for background checks from “anyone that can.”
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