House passes sweeping gun reform package, though it’s unlikely to move in the Senate
Five Republicans voted for the bill: Representatives Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio, Fred Upton of Michigan, Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, Adam Kinzinger of Illinois and Chris Jacobs of New York. Two Democrats – Representatives Jared Golden of Maine and Kurt Schrader of Oregon – voted against.
“We are on a crusade for children, and – sadly now – by children. Children are testifying in committee,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said during the floor debate in the House chamber, referring to Miah Cerrillo, a fourth-grade student at Robb Elementary School. , who testified on videotape before the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday morning. “America has lost more children to gun violence than to any other cause. Does it embarrass you? To think that in our country more children have died from gun violence than from any another cause? These stories are tragically all too common in America today.”
Pelosi had requested in a letter to Dear Colleague that his fellow Democrats be present in the chamber during the floor debate, but only about a quarter of the caucus was present when the debate began.
House Republicans have spoken out against the legislation, describing the package as a trampling on Americans’ rights.
“Here they come – attacking the Second Amendment freedoms of law-abiding citizens,” Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan said. “The speaker started off by saying that this bill is about protecting our children. It’s important. … That’s what she said, ‘protecting our children is important.’ Yes, it is. But this bill does not. What this bill does is take away Second Amendment rights, the God-given rights protected by our Constitution from respectful American citizens. laws. That’s what this legislation does, and that’s why we should oppose it.”
Before the debate, the House took a procedural vote which also considered adopted a resolution by Democratic Rep. Jamaal Bowman of New York condemning the mass shooting in Buffalo and resolving that “the theory of the great replacement as a theory of white supremacist conspiracy, and reaffirming the House of Representatives’ commitment to combating white supremacy, hate and racial injustice.” Its resolution also called on “many people in positions of power and media institutions with widely consulted public platforms” who have helped normalize and legitimize the principles underlying the Great Replacement Theory.
When asked why he didn’t insist on a separate vote on his resolution, Bowman said “the main thing for us is that the resolution passes, however it comes in.”
“This is something that’s really important for Congress to take a stand,” he said.