Pelosi: 'People are dying' because McConnell won't bring up gun legislation

Pelosi: 'People are dying' because McConnell won't bring up gun legislation
© Greg Nash

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPelosi eyes end of April to bring a fourth coronavirus relief bill to the floor Pelosi, Democrats using coronavirus to push for big tax cuts for blue state residents US watchdog vows 'aggressive' oversight after intel official fired MORE (D-Calif.) on Tuesday condemned Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellPelosi eyes end of April to bring a fourth coronavirus relief bill to the floor Progressive group knocks McConnell for talking judicial picks during coronavirus Overnight Health Care: CDC recommends face coverings in public | Resistance to social distancing sparks new worries | Controversy over change of national stockpile definition | McConnell signals fourth coronavirus bill MORE's failure (R-Ky.) to bring up meaningful gun legislation in the upper chamber, arguing that "people are dying" because of his refusal. 

"Lives are at stake. Sen. McConnell is standing in the way," Pelosi told reporters in Washington, noting that the House made an effort to address gun violence by passing legislation in February to extend background checks to all gun sales. 

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The Speaker's comments came after being asked if she had any regrets about not calling the lower chamber back into session early from summer recess following the string of mass shootings last month. Pelosi became noticeably irritated by the question, insisting that House lawmakers had already done their job.

"Members had events all over the country to ask [McConnell] to bring up the bill. Don’t ask me what we haven’t done. We have done it," she said. "And if you are annoyed with my impatience, it’s because people are dying because Sen. McConnell hasn’t acted. Why don’t you go ask him if he has any regrets for all the people who died because he hasn’t?”

Congress reconvened earlier this week following a month in which mass shootings led to the deaths of 53 people, according to The New York Times. The massacres have led to renewed calls from Democrats for Congress to reform the nation's gun laws. 

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McConnell has said that he will only bring up gun legislation in the Senate if it is guaranteed to be signed by President TrumpDonald John TrumpPelosi eyes end of April to bring a fourth coronavirus relief bill to the floor NBA to contribute 1 million surgical masks to NY essential workers Private equity firm with ties to Kushner asks Trump administration to relax rules on loan program: report MORE. He told reporters on Tuesday that the White House was preparing a proposal to address the “horrendous” shootings in August. 

"They are working on coming up with a proposal that the president will sign. Until that happens, all of this is theatrics,” McConnell said. 

He also dismissed calls from Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerBiden calls on Trump to appoint coronavirus 'supply commander' Democrats press Trump, GOP for funding for mail-in ballots Schumer doubles down in call for Trump to name coronavirus supply czar MORE (D-N.Y.) to take up the House-passed gun control measure. He derided the effort as a "stunt" since Trump has already said he would veto the legislation.

The House in February passed legislation that would require all gun sellers to conduct background checks on people purchasing firearms. Pelosi said Monday that there would be “hell to pay” for Senate Republicans if they didn't pass the bill.