GOP: Senate could vote this week on ‘compromise’ gun bill

Greg Nash

Republican senators said Monday a proposal being crafted by Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) to block suspected terrorists from buying a gun could get a vote. 

{mosads}“We expect to get a vote this week” on forthcoming legislation being led by Collins, Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) said, after the Senate rejected four gun control proposals Monday evening, including two on the so-called terror loophole.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), the Senate’s No. 2 Republican, said separately that Collins’s yet-to-be-released proposal could get a vote. 

“I think Sen. McConnell has said if Sen. Collins wants a vote on her amendment, she’ll get it,” he added, referring to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). “Sen. McConnell’s position is if senators want to have votes on their amendments, they should be able to get it.”

Collins is expected to roll out her legislation on Tuesday. Annie Clark, a spokeswoman for the Collins, said earlier Monday that the forthcoming bill would be a “bipartisan compromise.”

Senators are currently using the commerce, justice and science appropriations bill as a vehicle for the gun control fight. 

Senators said Monday that negotiations were ongoing. Collins told reporters late last week that her proposal would block the sale of guns to individuals on the no-fly list and the so-called selectee list, which requires them to undergo additional screening at airports. 

It would allow individuals to appeal the decision if a gun sale is blocked and includes a five-year “look-back” provision that would alert the FBI if someone recently removed from either list buys a gun. 

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who spearheaded the Democratic proposal that the Senate rejected on Monday evening, said Monday she believes the Collins’s measure is too narrow. 

“My view is that her alternative is not enough to close the loophole that creates the terror gap and allows terrorists to buy guns,” she said earlier Monday. “Focusing so narrowly on these two smaller sets … is not enough, and I’d like to tell you why. It would leave out a huge number of known or suspected terrorists.” 

Democratic leadership, arguing they were keeping an open mind, said Collins will have to be able to convince approximately 20 GOP senators to support her proposal if she wants to get it through the Senate. 

“From what I understand there are some problems with the Collins proposal,” Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) told reporters on Monday evening. “But we’re not saying let the perfect be the enemy of the good. We’d like to see what she proposes.” 

Senators on Monday rejected a proposal from Feinstein that would have allowed the attorney general to block the sale of a gun if there was a “reasonable suspicion” that an individual has or will take part in a terrorist attack. 

They also rejected a measure from Cornyn that would empower the attorney general to delay suspected terrorists from obtaining a gun for up to 72 hours to give the Justice Department time to investigate the prospective buyers and secure a court order stopping the transfer.

Tags Charles Schumer Dianne Feinstein Jeff Flake John Cornyn Mitch McConnell Susan Collins

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