Democrats call for Senate to return to vote on gun reform after two deadly mass shootings

Democrats are calling on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOvernight 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 On The Money: Economy sheds 701K jobs in March | Why unemployment checks could take weeks | Confusion surrounds 9B in small-business loans 13 things to know for today about coronavirus MORE to bring the Senate back in session to vote on gun control legislation in response to two mass shootings that killed 29 people in less than 24 hours.

A Saturday shooting at an El Paso, Texas, Walmart left 20 people dead and 26 more wounded. Federal authorities are treating it as a case of domestic terrorism and will pursue federal hate crime and firearm charges, officials said Sunday. A separate shooting early Sunday morning in Dayton, Ohio, left nine dead and 27 wounded.

Democrats are asking McConnell to call Senate, which is currently on a month-long recess, back to vote on a background check bill passed by the Democratic-controlled House in February. 

ADVERTISEMENT

"El Paso, Dayton, one awful event after another. @SenateMajLdr McConnell must call the Senate back for an emergency session to put the House-passed universal background checks legislation on the Senate floor for debate and a vote immediately," Senate Minority Leader Chuck SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerDemocrats press Trump, GOP for funding for mail-in ballots Schumer doubles down in call for Trump to name coronavirus supply czar Trump lashes out at Schumer over call for supply czar MORE (D-N.Y.) tweeted Sunday morning.

"Mitch McConnell should bring the Senate back into session immediately to pass HR 8, the gun safety bill that has already passed the House. That's a first step to addressing our serious gun violence epidemic," White House hopeful and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) tweeted.

"We must treat this like the public health crisis that it is," fellow 2020 candidate Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenOvernight 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 Democratic senators want probe into change of national stockpile description Democrats ask EPA, Interior to pause rulemaking amid coronavirus MORE (D-Mass.) tweeted "@SenMajLdr: Bring the Senate back from recess to vote on legislation to address the gun violence epidemic."

When asked by CBS's "Face the Nation" host if he supports returning to D.C. for a vote, Sen. Tim ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottHow much damage? The true cost of the Senate's coronavirus relief bill Senate unanimously passes T coronavirus stimulus package Senate rejects GOP attempt to change unemployment benefits in coronavirus stimulus bill MORE (R-S.C.) said he'd "be happy to go back." 

"I'd leave tonight. I'll go tomorrow, it doesn't matter to me. This is such an important issue," Scott said.

Ohio Sen. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownDemocrats urge administration to automatically issue coronavirus checks to more people Lawmakers press IRS to get coronavirus checks to seniors Democrats press Mnuchin to defend T coronavirus stimulus IG MORE also said McConnell should call for Senate to come back into session to pass the universal background check bill. 

Rep. Harley RoudaHarley Edwin RoudaDemocrat Harley Rouda advances in California House primary Let engineers make engineering decisions on local infrastructure projects EPA pushes back on Oversight review of ethics program MORE (D-Calif.) tweeted it is "time for a special session of congress to make this mass shooting the last."

"I’m heartbroken and disgusted. Thoughts and prayers from NRA apologists in Congress are insulting to victims. Their silence is deafening— It makes them permissive, even complicit in this epidemic," he tweeted.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOvernight Health Care: Global coronavirus cases top 1M | Cities across country in danger of becoming new hotspots | Trump to recommend certain Americans wear masks | Record 6.6M file jobless claims Trump blasts Schumer over 'incorrect sound bites' on coronavirus Trump warns against 'partisan investigations' after Pelosi establishes select committee on virus response MORE did not explicitly call for a special session, but she tweeted that McConnell should "explain to the people why" he hasn't called for a vote on the bill the House passed in February. 

 
"We need action," she said. "The House has sent common-sense gun safety legislation to the Senate. Demand that @senatemajldr and your Republican elected officials join Democrats to pass it." 

The House passed the bill with overwhelming Democratic support, and some support from Republicans. 

A spokesperson for McConnell did not immediately return a request for comment.