Senators ask for committee vote on 'red flag' bills after shootings

Senators ask for committee vote on 'red flag' bills after shootings
© Greg Nash

Two senators are asking Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGraham says FBI chief 'committed to being helpful' after Trump criticism Democrat flips GOP-held state House seat in South Carolina Ron Johnson signals some GOP senators concerned about his Obama-era probes MORE (R-S.C.) to give their "red flag" bills a vote in the wake of last weekend's back-to-back mass shootings. 

Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinSenators ask for removal of tariffs on EU food, wine, spirits: report Senate Democrats demand answers on migrant child trafficking during pandemic Yates spars with GOP at testy hearing MORE (D-Calif.), the top Democrat on the panel, sent a letter to Graham on Monday asking for a vote on her extreme risk, or "red flag," bill. 

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"Given the President’s statement in support for these laws today, I again request that you put the Extreme Risk Protection Order Act on the agenda to be considered as soon as possible," Feinstein wrote in the letter. 

Feinstein's bill, which is backed by 25 Democratic senators and Independent Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersChris Wallace: Trump struggling with attacks on 'shape-shifter' Harris Kamala Harris: The outreach Latinos need Biden and Harris seen as more moderate than Trump and Pence: poll MORE (Vt.) and Angus KingAngus KingHillicon Valley: 'Fortnite' owner sues Apple after game is removed from App Store | Federal agencies seize, dismantle cryptocurrency campaigns of major terrorist organizations Lawmakers introduce bill designating billion to secure state and local IT systems Overnight Energy: EPA finalizes rollback of Obama-era oil and gas methane emissions standards | Democratic lawmakers ask Interior to require masks indoors at national parks | Harris climate agenda stresses need for justice MORE (Maine), would allow states to use grants to develop red flag laws that allow family members to petition courts for an order preventing someone from purchasing a gun. The state laws could also let family members petition for an order for law enforcement to remove a firearm. 

Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioPentagon forming task force to investigate military UFO sightings How Congress could diminish the risks with Electoral College count The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden, Harris launch Trump offensive in first joint appearance MORE (R-Fla.) also urged Graham to take up his separate "red flag" bill, noting he had asked the committee to bring it up months ago. 

"My bi-partisan 'Red Flag' law was filed 18 months ago & again earlier this year. We asked Senate Judiciary to take it up as few months ago. I hope they will now do so. Identifying & stopping a killer before they act is best way to prevent these tragedies," Rubio tweeted

Rubio's bill is backed by Sens. Jack ReedJohn (Jack) Francis ReedDemocrats ramp up warnings on Russian election meddling Senate Democrats demand answers on migrant child trafficking during pandemic Overnight Defense: Embattled Pentagon policy nominee withdraws, gets appointment to deputy policy job | Marines, sailor killed in California training accident identified | Governors call for extension of funding for Guard's coronavirus response MORE (D-R.I.), Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsSusan Collins asks postmaster general to address delays of 'critically needed mail' Senate leaves until September without coronavirus relief deal Trump: GOP senators who don't embrace him will 'lose their elections' MORE (R-Maine) and King, which would also use grants to encourage states to pass "red flag" legislation. 

The push for Graham to give the two bills a vote comes as Graham announced on Monday that he would be introducing "red flag" legislation "in the very near future" with Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.). 

“I spoke with the President this morning about this proposal and he seems very supportive," Graham said earlier Monday. 

Graham is one three GOP senators tapped by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOn The Money: Senate leaves until September without coronavirus relief agreement | Weekly jobless claims fall below 1 million for first time since March | Trump says no Post Office funding means Democrats 'can't have universal mail-in voting' Overnight Health Care: Senate leaves until September without coronavirus relief deal | US records deadliest day of summer | Georgia governor drops lawsuit over Atlanta's mask mandate Senate leaves until September without coronavirus relief deal MORE (R-Ky.) to do bipartisan brainstorming about potential responses to the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. 

"I asked them to reflect on the subjects the president raised within their jurisdictions and encouraged them to engage in bipartisan discussions of potential solutions to help protect our communities without infringing on Americans’ constitutional rights," McConnell said in a statement.

In addition to Graham, McConnell said he spoke with Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Chairman Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderDavis: The Hall of Shame for GOP senators who remain silent on Donald Trump Several GOP lawmakers express concern over Trump executive orders The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the Air Line Pilots Association - Negotiators 'far apart' as talks yield little ahead of deadline MORE(R-Tenn.) and Commerce Committee Chairman Roger WickerRoger Frederick WickerDavis: The Hall of Shame for GOP senators who remain silent on Donald Trump The Hill's Coronavirus Report: INOVIO R&D Chief Kate Broderick 'completely confident' world will develop a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine; GOP boxed in on virus negotiations Hillicon Valley: Lawmakers zero in on Twitter after massive hack | US, UK, Canada allege Russian hackers targeted COVID-19 vaccine researchers | Top EU court rules data transfer deal with the US is illegal MORE (R-Miss.).