Senators roll out bipartisan gun proposal
© Greg Nash/The Hill
Senators on Tuesday rolled out a bipartisan bill aimed at stopping suspected terrorists from buying a gun, as lawmakers try to overcome a stalemate on the issue.
 
 
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The legislation would allow the attorney general to block the sale of a gun if an individual is on the "no-fly" list or the so-called "selectee" list, which requires additional screening at an airport. 
 
Collins said the two lists affect approximately 109,000 people, most of whom are foreigners. 
 
The legislation would allow the decision to be appealed. If an appeal is successful, Collins said Americans and green card holders could get their attorney fees covered. 
 
The measure also includes a "look back" provision that would notify the FBI when someone who was on the broader terror watchlist in the past five years buys a gun. 
 
 
Democratic Sens. Tim KaineTim KaineSenate Dems launch talkathon ahead of ObamaCare repeal vote 40 million fewer people expected to vote in 2018, study finds Al Gore warns Democrats about accusing Trump of treason MORE (Va.), Bill NelsonBill NelsonGore wishes Mikulski a happy birthday at 'Inconvenient Sequel' premiere Honda recalls 1.2 million cars over battery fires Vulnerable senators raise big money ahead of 2018 MORE (Fla.), Martin HeinrichMartin HeinrichNew legislation tells fourth graders to take a hike Dems push for more action on power grid cybersecurity The Memo: Five takeaways from Jeff Sessions’s testimony MORE (N.M.) and Heidi HeitkampHeidi HeitkampRegulatory experts push Senate leaders for regulatory reform Why governors hold power in the battle for GOP healthcare votes Vulnerable senators raise big money ahead of 2018 MORE (N.D.) and Independent Sen. Angus KingAngus KingAngus King: No one knows what healthcare plan Senate will consider Week ahead: Senate defense bill faces delay Trump ally LePage may run for Senate in Maine MORE (Maine), who caucuses with Democrats, also appeared in support of the bill. 
 
The legislation is expected to get a vote, but Collins will need 60 supporters for the provision to through the Senate. Democrats say about 20 GOP senators would need to back the bill to get it past the threshold.
 
Collins said a vote on the bill could happen this week or next week, depending on the floor schedule.
 
Heitkamp said they still needed to gauge support among the Democratic caucus, but that she believes Democratic senators "are ready to get something done. They're ready to move the ball forward." 
 
Kaine urged Democrats to support it, arguing it would allow them to keep pushing for stronger background check laws. 
 
"I'm sick of the shootings. I'm sick of the vigils. ... I'm sick of the claims that we'll do something about it. I'm sick of the partisan rhetoric," he told reporters. 
 
But senators in both parties have largely stayed on the fence about Collins's proposal. 
 
Sen. Bob CorkerBob CorkerCorker: 'We still have a lot of work to do' on Russia sanctions The Hill's 12:30 Report Iran nuclear deal still under threat — US must keep its end of the bargain MORE (R-Tenn.) said "the due process issues matter so much to people,” noting that the legislation was still evolving early Tuesday afternoon.
 
Sen. Jon TesterJon TesterVulnerable senators raise big money ahead of 2018 'Kate's Law' battle shifts to the Senate, testing Dems Democrats go in for the kill on ObamaCare repeal MORE (D-Mont.), one of three Democrats who voted against a broad background check measure Monday, said "absolutely I'm interested in it," adding he still needed to read it. 
 
The White House isn't onboard will the Collins bill yet, either. Press secretary Josh Earnest on Tuesday said administration attorneys were looking at the proposal, but it's "too early to say at this point" whether President Obama will support it.
 
Earnest said the administration would support the bill if it "would help our law enforcement officials" and "enhance national security,” but he expressed disappointment that the measure would only "prevent some people” suspected of terrorist ties from purchasing firearms.
 
Collins' proposal comes after the Senate on Monday evening rejected — largely along party lines — two proposals aimed at blocking suspected terrorists from buying a gun. They also voted down two gun-control measures. 
 
 
Reid said Republicans let their actions "be dictated by the National Rifle Association.” 
 
"Here's a little secret for my Republican colleagues. The NRA doesn't care about you. It doesn't care about your constituents. It doesn't care about the constitutional rights of the followers," he added. 
 
McConnell blamed the stalemate on Democrats, calling Cornyn's amendment a "serious proposal ... and Democrats voted against it." 
 
Feinstein's proposal would have allowed the attorney general to block the sale of a gun if there was a "reasonable suspicion" a person had been or would be involved with a terrorist attack. 
 
Cornyn's amendment would have allowed the attorney general to temporarily block the buying of a gun as a court decided whether the sale should be permanently blocked. 
 
Democrats have focused on gun issues ahead of the November election, accusing Republicans of putting loyalty to the NRA ahead of stopping acts of terrorism. 
 
Sen. Chris MurphyChris MurphyDem senator: Trump's 'icky' Boy Scout speech left 'my stomach in knots' Senate Dems launch talkathon ahead of ObamaCare repeal vote Dem suggests Trump focusing on Clinton, Sessions to distract from healthcare MORE (D-Conn.) — who waged a 15-hour filibuster last week — called Collins' legislation "encouraging" but added that the "devil is in the details." 
 
"I've talked with everyone in Democratic leadership, I think it's clear that if we can get a compromise that is going to materially increase public safety and keep terrorists from getting guns we're going to vote for it," he added. 
 
Sen. Charles SchumerCharles SchumerTrump: Why aren't 'beleaguered AG,' investigators looking at Hillary Clinton? Trump: Washington ‘actually much worse than anyone ever thought’ Schumer: Dems didn't 'tell people what we stood for' in 2016 MORE (D-N.Y.) praised Collins for making a "valiant effort," but said while an outline of the bill "seems to be a step in the right direction,” it also has "fixable problems."
 
Updated at 4:12 p.m. Jordan Fabian contributed.