McConnell: White House preparing gun-violence proposal

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellO'Rourke responds to Buttigieg's gun criticism: 'That calculation and fear is what got us here in the first place' Cicilline on Trump investigations versus legislation: 'We have to do both' The 13 Republicans needed to pass gun-control legislation MORE (R-Ky.) told reporters Tuesday that the White House is preparing a proposal to respond to the “horrendous” shootings last month and that he will withhold judgment on how to proceed until he sees President TrumpDonald John TrumpHarris bashes Kavanaugh's 'sham' nomination process, calls for his impeachment after sexual misconduct allegation Celebrating 'Hispanic Heritage Month' in the Age of Trump Let's not play Charlie Brown to Iran's Lucy MORE’s plan.

“We had a briefing at lunch from Eric Ueland from down at the White House. They are working on coming up with a proposal that the president will sign. Until that happens, all of this is theatrics,” McConnell said after the Senate GOP lunch, which White House legislative affairs director Eric Ueland attended.

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“These horrendous shootings, in my opinion, deserve a response. I hope we can get something that can actually become the law of the United States of America,” McConnell later added.

Some Republicans say there is now more GOP support for expanding background checks along the lines of the proposal sponsored in 2013 by Sens. Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeyNSA improperly collected US phone records in October, new documents show Overnight Defense: Pick for South Korean envoy splits with Trump on nuclear threat | McCain blasts move to suspend Korean military exercises | White House defends Trump salute of North Korean general WH backpedals on Trump's 'due process' remark on guns MORE (R-Pa.) and Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) Manchin The 13 Republicans needed to pass gun-control legislation Trump, lawmakers consider app that would conduct background checks: report Conservatives offer stark warning to Trump, GOP on background checks MORE (D-W.Va.), which would have required background checks for all firearms sales on the internet and at gun shows.

McConnell, however, was careful not to get out ahead of Trump.

Asked if there is more support for background checks, McConnell said, “I can’t handicap the outcome.”

“We’re waiting for something we know if it passed would actually become law and until the White House gives us some indication of what the president is willing to sign, we’re waiting to see what it looks like,” he said.

Asked whether he personally thought it reasonable to mandate background checks for all commercial gun sales, McConnell replied, “I’m going to wait and assess the proposal that actually could become law.”

“At that point I’ll be happy to explain my vote one way or the other,” he said.

McConnell said Republicans “are engaged here with a level of seriousness that I see as completely nonexistent on the other side,” referring to Democrats.

McConnell hit Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerSinema says she would back Kennedy in race against Markey Democrats threaten to withhold defense votes over wall Pelosi: 'People are dying' because McConnell won't bring up gun legislation MORE (D-N.Y.) and Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiProgressives call for impeachment inquiry after reported Kavanaugh allegations The promise and peril of offshoring prescription drug pricing Words matter, except to Democrats, when it involves impeaching Trump MORE (D-Calif.) for calling on Republicans Monday to take up a House-passed gun control measure.

The GOP leader dismissed their call as a political “stunt” because Trump has already said he will veto it.  

“For months, what I have said consistently is let’s see if we can actually make a law here. And making a law when you have divided government is challenging,” he said. “My members know the very simple fact that to make a law you have to have a presidential signature."

Updated: 4:28 p.m.