Schumer Wants Trump to Redirect $5B in Border Money to Gun Initiatives

Kathryn Gamble

Kathryn Gamble

Congress is on its summer recess until after Labor Day, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has resisted Democratic calls to have lawmakers return early.

Schumer's office said Tuesday he will formally request the funding go toward research on gun violence by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and bolstering Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Federal Bureau of Investigation programs to counter extremism and domestic terrorism.

The bottom line: Trump's about as likely to go for this as he is to endorse Joe Biden for president, but Schumer's move is an attempt to keep pressure on Republicans on the gun issue in the wake of the mass shootings that killed 31 people in El Paso and Dayton, Ohio.

On Friday, Trump told reporters that he could rally Republicans around such legislation and persuade the nation's powerful gun lobby to drop its long-standing opposition, tasks that have proved elusive following other mass shootings on his watch.

"Is it the solution to all this violence?"

McConnell told a radio interviewer on August 8 that calling the Senate back into session early would only lead to political posturing.

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Legislation sought by McConnell would need to garner enough bipartisan support to pass the Senate and be signed into law by Trump, who has threatened to veto the House legislation and sent mixed messages on what kinds of measures he could sign.

Trump has voiced support for some form of background check expansion, though in an address on the mass shootings, he focused on mental illness, the internet, and video games as potential causes.

Trump told reporters in New Jersey on Tuesday as he departed for Pennsylvania he's "convinced that Mitch wants to do something".

Democrats are also continuing to press Senate Republicans to allow votes on a pair of bills passed this year by the House that are created to strengthen background checks for gun owners.

The Senate could consider a more modest background checks legislation that would exempt all gun transfers, including sales between close family members, from background checks.

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