© Greg Nash
Senate Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidLobbying world Bottom line Voters need to feel the benefit, not just hear the message MORE (D-Nev.) on Thursday rebuked GOP senators for their opposition to gun control legislation, saying the National Rifle Association (NRA) has become a "quasi-militant wing of the Republican Party."
"We can start by passing improved background checks legislation," Reid said. "I know that the thought of upsetting the National Rifle Association scares everybody, especially my Republican colleagues. You know what scares the American people? Gun violence."
Reid has repeatedly criticized Republicans this year for refusing to consider gun control bills after frequent mass shootings, the latest being Wednesday's attack that killed 14 in San Bernardino, Calif.
He has filed an amendment to the Senate's reconciliation bill that would restrict gun ownership for people who have been charged with harassing someone trying to enter an abortion clinic or forcefully blocking entry.
Last week, three people were killed during a shooting at a Planned Parenthood facility in Colorado.
While Reid's amendment has only been filed, the Nevada senator is expected to push for a vote and said that senators would try to "force amendments" on gun control as part of the ObamaCare repeal package.
Separate from Reid's push, Democrats are expected to propose wide-reaching legislation on gun control and background checks early next year. They've also pushed Republicans to take up a measure from Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinBiden administration seeks review of Trump-era approval of water pipeline What's that you smell in the Supreme Court? New variant raises questions about air travel mandates MORE (D-Calif.) that would block suspected terrorists from being able to buy a gun.
The proposals, however, face an uphill battle in the Republican-controlled Congress.
"I hope all members of Congress — Democrats, Republicans, members of the House of Representatives and senators — take a long hard look this morning, maybe in the mirror, and ask themselves, 'Where do I stand?' Yet again our country is faced with another sickening act of gun violence," Reid said.