Top GOP senator worried Congress no longer sees itself as co-equal branch of government

Top GOP senator worried Congress no longer sees itself as co-equal branch of government
© Greg Nash

Sen. John CornynJohn CornynDemocrats press for action on election security On The Money: NY prosecutors subpoena eight years of Trump tax returns | Senators struggle to get spending bills off ground as shutdown looms | Progressive tax-the-rich push gains momentum | Trump faces dwindling leverage with China Senators struggle to get spending bills off ground as shutdown looms MORE (R-Texas) said Wednesday he’s worried Congress is unwilling to lead after seeing news reports that the legislative branch is looking to President TrumpDonald John TrumpJimmy Carter: 'I hope there's an age limit' on presidency White House fires DHS general counsel: report Trump to cap California trip with visit to the border MORE for guidance on gun legislation.

“When I see headlines like this one in the WSJ, I am concerned Congress no longer regards itself as a co-equal branch of the US government and is unwilling to lead,” Cornyn tweeted, referencing a Wall Street Journal story published Tuesday night. 

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The story previews a Wednesday afternoon meeting between Trump and lawmakers focused on school safety and gun laws in the aftermath of a Feb. 14 shooting at a high school in Parkland, Fla., that left 17 people dead.

The story indicates lawmakers are looking for Trump to make clear what kind of legislation he would support.

Since the shooting, Trump has signaled varying levels of support for improving background checks, banning bump stocks and raising the minimum age requirement to purchase a rifle.

There has been speculation in recent days that the president is backing off the age requirement proposal, which is opposed by the National Rifle Association (NRA) and some conservative lawmakers. The White House said Tuesday the president stands by his original proposal.

Trump has also expressed support for arming teachers to prevent future school shootings, despite opposition from educators and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. 

Lawmakers have in the past expressed frustration with Trump’s failure to lay out a clear vision on an issue, including during an immigration debate last month. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDemocrats seize Senate floor to protest gun inaction: 'Put up or shut up' Democrats press for action on election security Hillicon Valley: Election security looms over funding talks | Antitrust enforcers in turf war | Facebook details new oversight board | Apple fights EU tax bill MORE (R-Ky.) said at the time he was waiting to introduce legislation because it wasn't clear what Trump would support.

The Trump administration later proposed immigration reforms that were rejected by lawmakers from both parties.