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. 
 
In addition to Collins, Republican Sens. Kelly AyotteKelly Ann AyotteElection Countdown: O'Rourke brings in massive M haul | Deal on judges lets senators return to the trail | Hurricane puts Florida candidates in the spotlight | Adelson spending big to save GOP in midterms GOP mulls having outside counsel question Kavanaugh, Ford Pallbearers, speakers announced for McCain's DC memorial service and Capitol ceremony MORE (N.H.), Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeIMF's Christine Lagarde delays trip to Middle East Saudi mystery drives wedge between Trump, GOP Election Countdown: Dems outraise GOP in final stretch | 2018 midterms already most expensive in history | What to watch in second Cruz-O'Rourke debate | Trump raises 0M for reelection | Why Dems fear Avenatti's approach MORE (Ariz.) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSaudi mystery drives wedge between Trump, GOP Suspects in journalist's disappearance linked to Saudi crown prince: report Overnight Defense: Trump worries Saudi Arabia treated as 'guilty until proven innocent' | McConnell opens door to sanctions | Joint Chiefs chair to meet Saudi counterpart | Mattis says Trump backs him '100 percent' MORE (S.C.) appeared at Tuesday's press conference.
 
Democratic Sens. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineOvernight Defense: Trump says 'rogue killers' could be behind missing journalist | Sends Pompeo to meet Saudi king | Saudis may claim Khashoggi killed by accident | Ex-VA chief talks White House 'chaos' | Most F-35s cleared for flight Democrats torch Trump for floating 'rogue killers' to blame for missing journalist Election Countdown: O'Rourke brings in massive M haul | Deal on judges lets senators return to the trail | Hurricane puts Florida candidates in the spotlight | Adelson spending big to save GOP in midterms MORE (Va.), Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonElection Countdown: Dems outraise GOP in final stretch | 2018 midterms already most expensive in history | What to watch in second Cruz-O'Rourke debate | Trump raises 0M for reelection | Why Dems fear Avenatti's approach Midterms in 2018 become most expensive in history The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs — Pollsters: White college-educated women to decide if Dems capture House MORE (Fla.), Martin HeinrichMartin Trevor HeinrichFor everyone’s safety, border agents must use body-worn cameras Electric carmakers turn to Congress as tax credits dry up A Senator Gary Johnson could be good not just for Libertarians, but for the Senate too MORE (N.M.) and Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampElection Countdown: Dems outraise GOP in final stretch | 2018 midterms already most expensive in history | What to watch in second Cruz-O'Rourke debate | Trump raises 0M for reelection | Why Dems fear Avenatti's approach Heitkamp apologizes for ad misidentifying abuse, sexual assault victims Cinton knocks Trump while rallying Dems: 'The president degrades the rule of law' MORE (N.D.) and Independent Sen. Angus KingAngus Stanley KingCollusion judgment looms for key Senate panel People have forgotten 'facade' of independent politicians, says GOP strategist Senate poised to confirm Kavanaugh after bitter fight 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. 
 
 
 
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. 
 
 
"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 (Chuck) Ellis SchumerMcConnell says deficits 'not a Republican problem' Medicare for All is disastrous for American seniors and taxpayers Senate Dems race to save Menendez in deep-blue New Jersey 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.