McCarthy and Scalise to vote against Senate gun deal

The top two Republicans in the House, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) and Minority Whip Steve Scalise (La.), plan to vote against the Senate’s bipartisan gun bill and will formally whip votes against it.

McCarthy and Scalise told House Republican members during a conference meeting Wednesday that they plan to vote against the bill, GOP leadership staff said.

Scalise will also formally whip against the bill and ask GOP members to vote “no,” Fox News first reported Wednesday.

House GOP leaders have not said whether they will formally whip against the bill and ask its members to vote “no.”

Their position is a break from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who was one of 14 Senate Republicans who voted to advance the legislation Tuesday evening. In a statement, McConnell called the bill a “commonsense package of popular steps” to prevent gun violence.

A number of conservative Republicans, though, are voicing strong opposition to the bill.

The House Freedom Caucus on Tuesday announced its formal opposition to the bill, pointing to concerns about money going to implement “red flag” laws that keep those deemed a danger to themselves or others from keeping or obtaining firearms.

“Red flag laws permit the preemptive seizure of firearms from Americans without due process by allowing any person to report a gunowner to law enforcement and petition for the confiscation of that individual’s firearms, even before the gunowner has an opportunity to defend themselves,” the Freedom Caucus said in a statement. 

Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.), chair of the House Freedom Caucus, said that he spoke up in conference to ask the House GOP to whip against the bill.

“It seemed to get some applause,” Perry said. “So, I think that at least for many of the members in the room, they agree.”

Updated 12:20 p.m.

Tags bipartisan gun bill commonsense gun laws Gun control gun violence Kevin McCarthy mass shootings Mitch McConnell red flag laws Scott Perry Steve Scalise

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