Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzO'Rourke prepping run for governor in Texas: report Support for Abbott plunging in Texas: poll White House debates vaccines for air travel MORE (R-Texas) and actress Alyssa Milano on Tuesday followed through on their pledge to meet to discuss gun control legislation after arranging the sit-down through Twitter last week.
Each thanked the other for agreeing, though neither appears to have shifted on the issue.
“I am always grateful for the opportunity to engage in positive, civil discussion on the substantive issues of the day — especially with those with whom I disagree. Today’s meeting was productive and respectful, and I appreciate Alyssa and Fred’s willingness to come here with an open mind. I believe more conversations like this will go a long way in helping unite and heal our divided country,” Cruz said in a statement, referring to Fred Guttenberg, a gun reform activist who lost his daughter in the 2018 Parkland, Fla., school shooting and also attended the meeting.
“We all agree we have far too many of these mass shootings, and they need to stop. It is long past time for everyone to put away the partisan talking points so we can work together to solve this problem. We need to act,” Cruz added.
Milano similarly issued a statement on Instagram, saying that this is an issue Americans of both parties “want fixed.”
“I hope @sentedcruz will seize this moment and urge his party’s leadership to advance the life-saving gun violence prevention bills pending in the Senate to a full debate and vote," Milano said in her caption.
"We can’t solve gun violence by talking only with people who agree with us. I’m grateful for the opportunity to speak to Senator Cruz, and I hope our discussion inspires Americans across the political spectrum to reach across the partisan divides in our nation."
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Too many Americans are dying. There is a gun violence epidemic in America that 90% of us want fixed. Republicans and Democrats alike. I hope @sentedcruz will seize this moment and urge his party’s leadership to advance the life-saving gun violence prevention bills pending in the Senate to a full debate and vote. We can’t solve gun violence by talking only with people who agree with us. I’m grateful for the opportunity to speak to Senator Cruz, and I hope our discussion inspires Americans across the political spectrum to reach across the partisan divides in our nation.
A post shared by Alyssa Milano (@milano_alyssa) on
During the meeting, which Cruz shared on Facebook, Milano appealed to Cruz as a parent.
“I’m a mom, I have two children. You’re a dad...I look at my children and want to give them everything, all the greatest possibilities. I look at my children and I’m terrified. I don’t know how to keep my children safe, and it's terrifying. And I think parents across the country feel this way,” she told Cruz, adding that her “biggest fear” is Guttenberg’s reality.
Cruz used the opportunity to tout his bill, cosponsored by Sen. Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyGrassley calls for federal prosecutor to probe botched FBI Nassar investigation Woman allegedly abused by Nassar after he was reported to FBI: 'I should not be here' Democrat rips Justice for not appearing at US gymnastics hearing MORE (R-Iowa), which he said would “keep guns out of the hands of felons and dangerous individuals.”
Cruz claims it would’ve helped to stop the shooting in his home state last month in Odessa that killed eight people.
The bill was first introduced by the senators in 2013, and reintroduced as the Protecting Communities and Preserving the Second Amendment Act of 2019 bill in May.
But the Republican-backed bill falls short of reform measures Democrats and activists are calling for.
The Democratic-controlled House passed a universal background check bill in February, with eight House Republicans voting with all Democrats in favor of it, that has yet to be called to a vote in the GOP-majority Senate.
Some Democrats have also proposed a ban on assault rifles as well as a gun licensing and mandatory buyback program.
In the past couple of months, a series of mass shootings has renewed Democrats’ push for gun reform. A shooting in El Paso, Texas, in August killed 22 people. One day later, another in Dayton, Ohio, killed nine.
The Odessa shooting later in the month killed eight others.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump seeking challenger to McConnell as Senate GOP leader: report Budget chairman: Debt ceiling fight 'a ridiculous position to be in' Buckle up for more Trump, courtesy of the Democratic Party MORE (R-K.Y.) has placed the legislative ball in President TrumpDonald TrumpCapitol fencing starts coming down after 'Justice for J6' rally Netanyahu suggests Biden fell asleep in meeting with Israeli PM Aides try to keep Biden away from unscripted events or long interviews, book claims MORE's court, saying that he will only call bills to a vote that the president will sign. Trump has previously said he supports expanded background checks before later backtracking after meeting with gun rights activists and conservatives.