The top Democrat in the U.S. House is demanding the GOP-led chamber vote on gun reform legislation “immediately” upon their return to Capitol Hill next month.
In a letter to Speaker Kevin McCarthy obtained first by NY1, Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries called for votes on bills expanding background checks and reimplementing the assault weapons ban, among other measures.
First on @NY1, from me >>— Kevin Frey (@KevinFreyTV) March 31, 2023
In a letter to @SpeakerMcCarthy, Dem Leader @RepJeffries is demanding the GOP-led House bring up gun reform legislation for a vote “immediately” upon Congress's return to Capitol Hill next month.
"Our children cannot wait." pic.twitter.com/2xEIVChJHZ
“Communities across the country are frustrated and dismayed with congressional inaction. Our schools have become killing fields and our children slaughtered by weapons of war,” Jeffries wrote. “It is time for Congress to put kids over guns.”
The letter comes days after a mass shooting at a school in Nashville, Tennessee, which left six dead, including three children.
Last summer, Congress, which Democrats controlled both chambers of at that time, passed the first gun reforms in decades.
That law, which earned bipartisan support, imposed tougher background checks on young gun buyers and encouraged states to adopt so-called red flag laws.
In his letter, Jeffries said Congress must do more.
“Our children cannot wait,” he wrote.
Legislative action on guns, though, remains a heavy lift, with both parties largely falling into familiar camps on the gun debate considering the Nashville shooting.
On Thursday, McCarthy told reporters that Congress must see “all the facts” before taking additional action.
“I don’t think one piece of legislation solves this,” he said. “We’ve got to deal with mental illness.”
Tensions have boiled over.
On Wednesday, New York Democratic Rep. Jamaal Bowman and Kentucky Republican Rep. Thomas Massie got into a verbal altercation just steps from the House floor.
When Massie floated arming teachers, Bowman shouted back, saying, “Children are dying.”