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 PelosiTimeline: The Trump whistleblower complaint DC statehood push faces long odds despite record support Ukraine could badly damage both Donald Trump and the Democrats MORE (D-Calif.) on Tuesday condemned Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDC statehood push faces long odds despite record support Overnight Energy: California, 23 other states sue Trump over vehicle emissions rule | Climate strike protests hit cities across globe | Interior watchdog expands scope of FOIA investigation | Dems accuse officials of burying climate reports Hillicon Valley: Lawmakers say Zuckerberg to 'cooperate' on antitrust probes | Dems see victory after McConnell backs election security funds | Twitter takes down fake pro-Saudi accounts 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 TrumpAlaska Republican Party cancels 2020 primary Ukrainian official denies Trump pressured president Trump goes after New York Times, Washington Post: 'They have gone totally CRAZY!!!!' 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 SchumerSchumer, Pelosi push Trump to back universal background check bill Sinema says she would back Kennedy in race against Markey Democrats threaten to withhold defense votes over wall 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.