Pelosi calls for select committee on gun violence
© Greg Nash

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) wants GOP leaders to form a special committee to investigate gun violence in the aftermath of a deadly shooting at an Oregon community college.

In a Friday letter to Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerRestoring fiscal sanity requires bipartisan courage GOP congressman slams primary rival for Ryan donations Speculation swirls about Kevin McCarthy’s future MORE (R-Ohio), Pelosi said a select committee would help Congress find legislative solutions to prevent incidents of gun violence like the rampages at Umpqua Community College.

She cited the shootings like at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., the Tucson, Ariz. shooting that seriously wounded former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-Ariz.), this past summer's mass shooting at a Charleston, S.C., church and the Virginia Tech shooting.

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"I urge you to create a Select Committee on Gun Violence to confront this crisis and report back common sense legislation to help end it," Pelosi wrote. "The bipartisan committee would be charged to present its recommendations to the House within 60 days – in time for a vote before the third anniversary of the Newtown shooting this year."

Twenty school children and six adults were killed in the Newtown shooting, which led Congress to consider a package of gun control bills. Tougher background check legislation did not emerge from the Senate.

A select committee would be a similar format to the House Select Committee investigating the 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. House Republicans are planning another special committee to investigate controversial undercover videos regarding Planned Parenthood's use of fetal tissue donations.

Pelosi further urged a vote on bipartisan legislation authored by Reps. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.) and Peter King (R-N.Y.) to expand background checks. But that measure has only accrued eight other co-sponsors since its introduction in March and has not even made it through the committee process.

"As Members of Congress, how can we in good conscience engage in moments of silence to honor these victims of gun violence, if we refuse to take action? We take a solemn oath to protect and defend the American people. We must not accept the horror of gun violence as routine," she concluded.