Schumer: Only passing narrow background check bill would be 'abject failure'
© Greg Nash

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerDemocrats should end their hypocrisy when it comes to Kavanaugh and the judiciary Celebrities back both Cuomo and Nixon as New Yorkers head to primary vote Dems launch million digital ad buy in top Senate races MORE (D-N.Y.) said Monday that it would be an "abject failure" if Congress can only pass legislation that bolsters reporting to the background check system in response to the deadly shooting at a Florida high school earlier this month.

"If all Congress does in response to the Parkland shooting is to pass the Fix NICS [National Instant Criminal Background Check System] bill, it would be an abject failure and a dereliction of our duty," Schumer said, adding that Democrats will push for universal background checks.

He said Democrats hope "Republican leaders will help pass real legislation that makes a difference, rather than [National Rifle Association]-backed bills that make Republicans feel better without meaningfully addressing the issue of gun safety." 


The Fix NICS legislation, spearheaded by Sens. John CornynJohn CornynKavanaugh, accuser to testify publicly on Monday Kavanaugh furor intensifies as calls for new testimony grow Grassley: Kavanaugh accuser 'deserves to be heard' in 'appropriate' manner MORE (R-Texas) and Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphySituation in Yemen should lead us to return to a constitutional foreign policy Overnight Defense: Biden honors McCain at Phoenix memorial service | US considers sending captured ISIS fighters to Gitmo and Iraq | Senators press Trump on ending Yemen civil war Senators press Trump administration on Yemen civil war MORE (D-Conn.), enforces current law by ensuring that states and agencies provide criminal records to the NICS, while penalizing those that don't. 

Thirty-five senators, including Schumer, are formal co-sponsors of the bill. 

But Democrats, while supportive of the legislation, argue that it cannot be the totality of Congress's response to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, in which 17 people were killed. 

“Democrats believe that, at a minimum, the Congressional response to the Parkland shooting should include universal background check legislation that would close the gun show and internet sales loopholes that allow guns to fall into the wrong hands," Schumer said. 

He similarly told reporters late last week that universal background checks would be the party's top priority following the Parkland shooting. 

President TrumpDonald John TrumpOver 100 lawmakers consistently voted against chemical safeguards: study CNN's Anderson Cooper unloads on Trump Jr. for spreading 'idiotic' conspiracy theories about him Cohn: Jamie Dimon would be 'phenomenal' president MORE has backed a myriad of ideas in response to the massacre, including arming teachers, eliminating bump stocks and "comprehensive" background checks. 

But legislation requiring a background check for every gun sale would likely face an uphill climb in the GOP-controlled Congress, where gun control bills have stalled for years. 

Even the Murphy-Cornyn bill has drawn opposition from a band of GOP senators. 

A spokesman for Sen. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeOvernight Health Care: Opioid legislation passes overwhelmingly | DOJ backs Cigna-Express Scripts merger | Senate passes ban on pharmacy gag clauses US military intervention in Venezuela would be a major mistake The Hill's 12:30 Report — Obama jumps into midterm fight with speech blasting Trump | Trump wants DOJ to probe anonymous writer | Day four of Kavanaugh hearing MORE (R-Utah) said they have "due process concerns," while Sen. John KennedyJohn Neely KennedyMORE (R-La.) told The Advocate last month that it compared to saying "pretty please with sugar on top" to government employees to get them to do their job.