Gop’s Latest Excuse for Failing to Enact Gun Control: Trump Might Be Impeached
September 25th 2019
By Dan Desai Martin
Senate Republicans have all but given up on offering any legislation dealing with gun violence, blaming an increase in calls for Trump’s impeachment by House Democrats as the reason, Politico reported Tuesday.
“I’m hoping that these things can be compartmentalized and that we can continue to pursue policy that I’ve been advocating. But I acknowledge that a lot of clamoring for impeachment is not helpful,” Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA), one of the lead Republican negotiators on gun issues, told Politico. “It makes it more difficult.”
Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN) said impeachment discussions set “a negative tone and stage for doing a lot of other things,” although he did not mention that it was Trump’s underlying malevolent activity which compelled Democrats to launch an impeachment inquiry.
The lead Senate Democrats working on the issue — Sens. Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) — have gone about a week without hearing anything from the White House on the issue. In the interim, both Murphy and Blumenthal have issued statements encouraging House colleagues to begin an impeachment inquiry.
Murphy told Politico that the decision to publicly embrace a call for impeachment was proceeded by a sense he got from the White House that “more likely than not that the president is going to side with the NRA once again.” Murphy was alluding to previous instances where Trump publicly declared support for efforts to reduce gun violence only to cave to the NRA rather than keep his word
“I understand calling for impeachment proceedings to begin could chill the administration’s interest in working with me on background checks. But this is about the future of the Republic,” Murphy added.
In recent weeks, Trump was already making up excuses for his lack of action on guns. Last Wednesday, Trump blamed Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke for the lack of action, claiming without evidence that O’Rourke’s call for a mandatory buy-back program for assault rifles somehow made it more difficult to engage in negotiations.
Later that week, Trump admitted he was in no hurry to address legislation to reduce gun violence.
Democrats in the House passed landmark legislation on gun safety in February, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has spent more than 200 days blocking those bills from coming up for a vote.
In recent weeks, McConnell (R-KY) has blamed Trump, saying he will not lift a finger to prevent gun deaths until Trump gives him permission to do so.
Despite Senate Republicans throwing in the towel, there could still be a slim hope for gun safety legislation. CNN reported that Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had a phone call on Tuesday to discuss gun violence and how to move toward a solution on legislation.
While Republicans look to explain away their failure, Pelosi refuses to give up on finding a way to reduce the nation’s gun violence epidemic.
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