Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) has been criticized heavily for failing to bring forward any legislation passed by the House of Representatives to his own legislative chamber on the issue of gun reforms.
Now, McConnell has offered one condition of him being willing to do so: if President Donald Trump first says he supports such measures.
McConnell said this has been his stance all along, according to reporting from ABC News.
“I said several weeks ago that if the president took a position on a bill, so that we knew we would actually be making a law, and not just having serial votes, I’d be happy to put it on the floor,” McConnell said.
As far as Trump’s positions on the bills passed by the House, no one is quite sure where he stands.
One such measure, which would require a background check on every gun purchase in the U.S., seemed to have the endorsement of the president weeks ago, after two mass shootings within a two-day period resulted in more than 30 killed, and dozens more injured, in the cities of El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.
“There’s a great appetite — and I mean a very strong appetite — for background checks,” the Los Angeles Times reported Trump saying at that time. “And I think we can bring up background checks like we’ve never had before.”
Trump made similar calls for background checks in 2018, after a high school shooting in Parkland, Florida, but his commitment for such a law dissipated shortly after. It appears that the same may be happening presently.
A day after a mass shooting in Odessa, Texas, over this past weekend, Trump issued a statement arguing that background checks couldn’t have prevented this recent, or any other, mass shooting over the years, MSNBC reported.
“Over the last five, six, or seven years, no matter how strong you need the background checks, it wouldn’t have stopped any of it,” Trump said.
— Matt Gutman (@mattgutmanABC) September 3, 2019
Those comments contradict an acknowledgment from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who pointed out this week that the shooter in Odessa had indeed purchased their weapons without being subjected to a background check, prior reporting from HillReporter.com noted.
Polling on the matter of expanding background checks shows overwhelming support for the idea among the American people. A recent Fox News poll, for instance, found that 9-in-10 Americans backed the idea, while only 7 percent were opposed to it. Other measures, including the banning of certain assault-style weapons and accessories, also received support from a majority of Americans in the poll.