The Senate’s failure to pass gun control legislation won’t stop House committees from examining proposals to reduce violence, but Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is making no promises that any bill will reach the floor.
The Speaker had previously said the Republican-led House would wait to see what the Senate could pass before determining whether it would take up any gun control measures. With the Senate’s defeat of a measure to expand background checks on Wednesday, the House appears unlikely to act anytime soon.
“Our committees continue to work at this,” Boehner said Thursday. “No decisions have been made beyond that.”
He mentioned Rep. Tim Murphy’s (R-Pa.) work on mental health legislation and the Judiciary Committee’s hearing on reducing violence.
Noting the Boston Marathon bombing and the discovery of ricin-laced letters sent to President Obama and a Republican senator, the Speaker noted that it had been “a rough week for the country.”
House Democrats on Thursday said they would renew their push for gun control measures to receive an up-or-down vote on the House floor, even if they stand little chance of passage.
On immigration, the Speaker congratulated the Senate’s “Gang of Eight” for introducing its comprehensive overhaul and said a House group working on immigration reform “continues to make significant progress.”
“I’m sure there are parts of it I would agree with, parts of it I would disagree with,” Boehner said of the Senate proposal. “But the fact is they worked together in a bipartisan fashion to craft this bill.”
House leaders have warned against rushing major immigration legislation, and Boehner on Thursday again pointed out the “three-fourths” of House members had never dealt with immigration before. Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has been meeting with small groups of members to educate them on the complex issue, and Boehner may decide to advance immigration reform in pieces rather than as a single bill.
“Overall, I’m very happy that this process is continuing,” Boehner said.