Schumer, Pelosi push Trump to back universal background check bill

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Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said they urged President Trump on Sunday to back a universal background check bill 200 days after the House passed the reform with some Republican support. 

“This morning, we made it clear to the president that any proposal he endorses that does not include the House-passed universal background checks legislation will not get the job done, as dangerous loopholes will still exist and people who shouldn’t have guns will still have access,” the top Democrats said in a joint statement after a call with Trump. 

The leaders said they promised Trump that if he signs the bill they would “join him for a historic signing ceremony at the Rose Garden.”{mosads}

The Democratic-controlled House passed the background check bill in February, with eight Republicans joining all Democrats in voting in favor of the reform. 

The bill has yet to be called to a vote by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who has said he will not call a bill to a vote that Trump won’t sign. 

“Every day that Senator McConnell blocks our House-passed, life-saving bills, an average of 100 people — including 47 children and teenagers — die from senseless gun violence,” the Democrats said, estimating that 20,000 Americans have died from gun violence since the House passed the bill 200 days ago. 

The Democrats said the bill would close loopholes that allow Americans prohibited from owning firearms to gain access to the weapons. 

“We know that to save as many lives as possible, the Senate must pass this bill and the President must sign it,” they said. 

“We will not stop until these bills are passed and our children’s lives are safe,” they added. 

White House spokesman Judd Deere said the call, which Trump took at the request of the Democrats, was cordial.

But Trump made no commitment to back the bill, Deere said. 

Instead, the president “indicated his interest in working to find a bipartisan legislative solution on appropriate responses” to mass shootings, Deere said. 

The majority of Americans support universal background checks, according to multiple national and state polls. 

Trump signaled he supported the reform following two shootings in less than 48 hours in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, last month. He later backtracked his comments, and the bill has yet to be considered in the GOP-controlled Senate. 

A White House spokesperson did not immediately respond for comment regarding the call with Democratic leaders.

Tags Chuck Schumer Donald Trump gun violence Mass shooting Mitch McConnell Nancy Pelosi

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