On Thursday, the Senate passed a bipartisan gun violence bill, marking breakthrough:

The Senate on Thursday passed legislation aimed at stanching acts of mass gun violence, with 15 Republicans joining Democrats to advance a bill combining modest new firearms restrictions with $15 billion in mental health and school security funding.

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The 65-to-33 vote represented an unlikely breakthrough on the emotional and polarizing question of U.S. gun laws, which have gone largely unchanged for more than 25 years, even as the nation has been repeatedly scarred by mass shootings whose names have become etched in history — from Columbine and Virginia Tech to Sandy Hook and Parkland.

The resulting Bipartisan Safer Communities Act garnered support from all 50 members of the Democratic caucus and a cadre of dealmaking Republicans (15) on Thursday, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who has opposed previous attempts to toughen gun laws after mass shootings.

“This is the sweet spot … making America safer, especially for kids in school, without making our country one bit less free,” McConnell said on the Senate floor Thursday.

In subsequent remarks with reporters, he explained the political logic of his stance, saying he hoped the GOP support for the deal “will be viewed favorably by voters in the suburbs that we need to regain in order to hopefully be a majority next year.”

Always with the political tactics and not simply doing what is right for Americans. All McConnell really cares about is sanding off the rough edges of his extremist radical Republicans to spend millions of dollars on ads trying to convince voters they are “moderate.” They did the bare minimum in this bill and will do no more. This is all you will ever see on gun safety from Republicans.

“I thought it was time to act, and if [Democrats] were willing to join with us and pass legislation that actually targeted the problem, which is school safety and mental health, why would we not want to do that?” he added.

In addition to funding for mental health services and school security initiatives, the legislation expands criminal background checks for some gun buyers, bars a larger group of domestic-violence offenders from being able to purchase firearms, and funds programs that would allow authorities to seize guns from troubled individuals.

The legislation moved to the House, where it is expected to pass on Friday. “While more is needed, this package must quickly become law to help protect our children,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Tuesday.

In fact, the House passed the bill this morning. House approves gun bill, which heads to Biden for his signature:

The House of Representatives passed significant gun violence legislation on Friday aimed at curbing the frequency of mass shootings in the United States, ending the measure’s quick trip through Congress. It now heads to President Biden for his signature to make it law.

Following Senate action Thursday night, House passage of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act broke an almost-30-year logjam in Washington on the contentious and emotional issue of gun rights. The metastasizing divisions that have separated Republicans and Democrats on the issue since passage of the 1994 assault weapons ban have prevented meaningful changes to acquiring and retaining firearms for those who are not law-abiding citizens.

[T]he gun legislation was the result of negotiations by a small handful of Republican and Democratic senators, led by Sens. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and John Cornyn (R-Tex.), in the wake of recent mass shootings in Uvalde, Tex., and Buffalo.

In addition to providing funding for mental health services and school security initiatives, the legislation expands criminal background checks for some gun buyers, bars a larger group of domestic-violence offenders from purchasing firearms and funds programs that would allow authorities to seize guns from troubled individuals.

The bill passed the House overwhelmingly along party lines, 234 to 193, with no Democratic defections. Fourteen Republicans voted in favor, including Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-Tex.), who represents Uvalde, the small city that is now the infamous home of the second-largest mass school shooting after the one in Newtown, Conn., almost a decade before.

Arizona delegation: Yea: Gallego, Grijalva, Kirkpatrick, O’Halleran; Nay: Biggs, Gosar, Lesko, Schweikert.

Democrats were seen hugging Rep. Lucy McBath (D-Ga.), who ran for Congress after her son, Jordan Davis, was shot and killed after a dispute over loud music at a gas station. They were congratulating her after provisions she supported made it into the bipartisan package.

The package is being sent to Biden’s desk one month to the day after an 18-year-old killed 19 children and two teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde.

[T]he legislation is modest compared with what Biden had asked of Congress, including banning assault weapons and raising the age to purchase a firearm from 18 to 21. Neither are in the compromise package.

The legislation does, however, direct millions to increase mental health services and school security measures, which Republicans have championed as the best ways to address school shootings instead of tougher measures pushed by Democrats. The bill also expands criminal background checks for some gun buyers, and bars a larger group of domestic-violence offenders from being able to purchase firearms as part of language aimed at what is known as the “boyfriend loophole.” The measure funds programs that would allow authorities to seize guns from troubled individuals.

“With this bipartisan package, we take the first steps to fight back on behalf of the American people who desperately want new measures to keep communities safe in the high numbers in the polling,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said. “To those who lacked the courage to join in this work, I say your political survival is insignificant compared to the survival of our children.”

[W]hile a majority of Democrats supported the legislation, a small number of progressives voted against it, citing concerns over funding police presence at schools that they said could indirectly increase the criminalization of minority students. Most Democrats thought the legislation was weak in comparison with more sweeping changes, including Rep. Norma J. Torres (D-Calif.), who argued Friday that the bill was the “bare minimum.”

“We should be embarrassed,” she said.

But what we get here in Arizona is bullshit reporting extolling the virtue of “bipartisanship” like this in The Republic, Arizona Sens. Kyrsten Sinema, Mark Kelly hail bipartisan passage of gun bill – which really means asking Republicans for permission for what is the bare minimum that they are willing to allow, instead of using the numbers Democrats have to do what the American people want, because our prima donna Democratic diva Senator Kyrsten Sinema cares more about the archaic Senate filibuster rule than she cares about innocent lives being slaughtered by gun violence:

“Today, thanks to bipartisan support in the Senate, our Bipartisan Safer Communities Act moves one step closer to becoming law, keeping our schools safe, and reducing violence in our communities,” Sinema, D-Ariz., said in a written statement released immediately after the Senate action.

She also praised the three other senators whose names are on the bill.

“I’m grateful for the partnership of Senators (Christopher) Murphy (D-Conn.), (John) Cornyn (R-Texas), and (Thom) Tillis (R-N.C.) — together we crafted a commonsense solution to community violence that protects Americans’ constitutional rights and saves lives,” Sinema said. “Passage of our bill with support from both sides of the aisle demonstrates what we can achieve when we work together to solve problems.”

Kelly, D-Ariz., also emphasized bipartisanship in a post-vote statement.

“Today’s bipartisan vote is an example of what can get done when Republicans and Democrats come together to solve real problems, which is exactly what I came to Washington to do,” said Kelly, whose wife, former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., suffered a near-fatal gunshot wound to her head in a 2011 assassination attempt. “Our legislation will make our schools and communities safer, save innocent lives, and expand mental health care services while protecting our Second Amendment rights. I look forward to swift House passage so that our bill can get to the President’s desk as soon as possible.”

Our Senators want credit for doing the bare minimum that Republicans would allow, when they could have delivered the gun safety bill that the vast majority of Americans wanted, only because they will not rid us of the anti-democratic archaic Senate filibuster rule.

This bill is still the most significant gun reform bill in a generation, but it is far from what the American people wanted. Let’s not lose sight of this.




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