Pelosi expecting House vote on Senate gun bill before the weekend

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Wednesday that she expects the Senate to pass its new gun reform package in time for the House to take it up before the weekend.

Senate Democrats started the clock on the legislation Tuesday night with a procedural vote that sets the stage for the upper chamber to approve the bill later in the week, though the exact timing remains unclear.

With the House scheduled to leave Washington on Friday for a long, two-week July Fourth recess, lawmakers are hoping the Senate will pass the gun package within that window. Pelosi said she expects it will.

“I anticipate that they will get it done,” the Speaker told reporters Wednesday morning just off of Capitol Hill, where House Democrats had held a caucus meeting.

Some other Democrats said they’ve been advised that the bill will come over from the Senate on Thursday or Friday — “or maybe Friday or Saturday,” said Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio). If the timeline does slip into the weekend, “I hope we’d stick around,” Beatty added.

The Senate gun package was cobbled together by a bipartisan group after weeks of tough negotiations over the scope of several new restrictions on gun purchases. It includes billions of dollars in funding for state mental health services and school security. It also attempts to close the so-called boyfriend loophole, which has allowed dating partners to retain their rights to gun ownership even after domestic abuse convictions. And it provides states with new tools to enforce “red flag” laws, which allow law enforcers to confiscate guns from individuals deemed by a court to be a danger to themselves or others.

The package came in response to a pair of mass shootings last month, one at a grocery store in Buffalo, N.Y., and another at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, where 19 children and two teachers were killed.

“I believe that this week we will pass legislation that will become the most significant piece of anti-gun-violence legislation Congress will have passed in 30 years,” said Sen. Chris Murphy (Conn.), the lead Democratic negotiator.

In Tuesday’s procedural vote, 14 Senate Republicans joined all Democrats, and the two independents who caucus with the Democrats, in advancing the bill — a sign that it’s certain to pass when the final vote comes around.

The package does not include the much tougher gun control measures favored by Democrats, including an assault weapons ban, a ban on high-capacity magazines or a hike in the age to purchase certain semi-automatic rifles. House Democrats, joined by five Republicans, had approved several of those changes in their own gun-reform package, which passed through the lower chamber earlier in the month.

Still, the nation’s leading gun reform groups have endorsed the package. And Pelosi, like Murphy, is framing the legislation as a significant step in the ongoing effort to fight the nation’s gun violence epidemic.

“This is an important piece of legislation. We’re very excited about it. It will save lives,” she said. “But we want to get it done.”

Tags Chris Murphy Gun control gun legislation Guns Joyce Beatty Nancy Pelosi Nancy Pelosi

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