Reid: No plans to revive gun control legislation

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) says he does not plan to bring background-check legislation back to the Senate floor in the wake of Wednesday’s Fort Hood shooting.

Reid pledged last year to bring gun-control legislation back to the floor but said he is still short the votes and won’t move until there’s progress.

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“I was told today this young man bought this gun a day or two before he killed those people — couldn’t we at least have background checks so people who are ill mentally or who are felons shouldn’t be allowed to buy guns?” Reid said in reference to National Guard Specialist Ivan Lopez, who shot and killed three people and wounded 16 others on Wednesday before committing suicide.

Lopez reportedly bought a .45-caliber Smith and Wesson pistol after arriving at the Texas base in February. He had a history of mental problems.

Even so, Reid has no plans to bring the issue, which could pose a political problem for vulnerable red-state Democrats such as Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), to the Senate floor.

“I would like to be able to bring it back up. I need some more votes,” he said.

Reid noted that the recent deal Congress approved to freeze scheduled cuts to doctors’ Medicare payments includes increased funding for mental health programs.

“That’s part of SGR. That’s $1.1 billion,” he said of the mental health funding attached to the proposed Sustainable Growth Rate for Medicare, which Congress routinely freezes.