Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley among 33 Republicans to oppose historic gun legislation through Senate
Senators Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley and Rand Paul are among the majority of Republicans who voted against the first gun legislation to pass the Senate in more than two decades, despite the fact that 15 Republicans – including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell– voted to pass it.
In all, 33 Republicans voted against the bill despite Republican Senators John Cornyn of Texas and Thom Tillis of North Carolina negotiating the law with Senators Chris Murphy of North Carolina. Connecticut and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona. Republican Senators Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Kevin Cramer of North Dakota did not vote.
The legislation comes a month after a white supremacist allegedly opened fire that left 10 people dead and less than a month after a gunman opened fire, killing 19 children and two people. grew up in Robb Elementary School. In the days after the shooting, Mr. McConnell accused Mr. Cornyn of Texas of negotiating the law, after which Mr. Tillis would join.
“I have said all that the real measure of whether we will succeed is whether this bill will save lives. And I have every confidence that it will do,” he told The Independent. “I mean, this is a difficult problem. And you know, people come from different states and different orientations and they have to calculate their own politics but for me the best politics is a good policy.”
Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama was one of the Senators who opposed the legislation.
“Well, I am a Second Amendment. I wish that if we just tackled mental health and privacy and put it at sunset maybe a five-year plan, but that’s not what happened,” he said. he said The Independent.
Despite the fact that his Texas counterpart Mr. Cornyn was one of the key negotiators on the law, Mr. Cruz gave a lengthy speech expressing his opposition to the law.
“When you disarm law-abiding citizens, what happens is law-abiding people disarm them,” he said. “That is pretty much the definition if they are law-abiding citizens. But criminals don’t follow the law.”
With McConnell and his negotiators, Republican Senators Roy Blunt of Missouri, Richard Burr of North Carolina, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Joni Ernst of Iowa, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Rob Portman of Ohio, Mitt Romney of Utah, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and Todd Young of Indiana all voted for it.
“Happy with the outcome,” Romney said as he stepped into the Senate elevator.
Mr Toomey – who along with Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia tried to pass the last major gun control legislation after the unsuccessful 2012 Sandy Hook massacre – said he was pleased it would be part his legacy when he retired at the end of the year.
“You know, my goal is always to ask for a background check on commercial sales,” he said. “This doesn’t do exactly what Joe Manchin and I intended to do a while ago, but it does extend background checks to several categories of commercial sales. And I think that’s constructive. It has other elements that I think are the most constructive and important.”
Before the vote, the National Rifle Association announced its opposition to the legislation.
“This is a gun control bill. That’s why the NRA opposes it. End of story,” it tweeted.
The law creates an enhanced review process for people under the age of 21 looking to purchase a firearm to undergo an enhanced assessment of their juvenile and mental health records. It also set up a program for states to adopt extreme risk defense order laws – also known as “red flag laws” – that prevent people who could pose a risk to themselves or others from obtaining firearms. .
Senator Mike Braun of Indiana opposed the legislation and said that Indiana had passed red flag legislation and measures to make schools safer.
“So I think most of this can be done by the United States,” he said. “And we’re in Indiana, especially having had a Red Flag Law for 17 or 18 years.”
In addition, those guilty of “straw buying” – in which someone can pass a background check buying weapons for someone who can’t – can be fined, face up to 15 years in prison, or both. That number could be raised to 25 years if the weapon is used for terrorism or drug trafficking.
The bill also closes the “boyfriend loophole” – allowing people who commit domestic abuse to a partner but are not living, married or having children with their partner to obtain a gun.
Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, who is part of a bipartisan group of 20 Senators working on the law, said that
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has indicated that it will move quickly to pass legislation.