Politics: Background checks are still on the table for Trump, says Chris Murphy - PressFrom - US
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PoliticsBackground checks are still on the table for Trump, says Chris Murphy

19:35  23 august  2019
19:35  23 august  2019 Source:   rollcall.com

Trump insists he and McConnell want stronger gun background checks

Trump insists he and McConnell want stronger gun background checks President Donald Trump is insisting that he and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell want to "do something" to strengthen the nation's firearm background check system.

Chris Murphy , D-Conn., who spoke with Trump last week, said the president expressed support then for working across the aisle "to come They also said "meaningful background checks " remain on the table , even after Trump spoke again by phone Tuesday with NRA chief executive Wayne LaPierre.

They also said "meaningful background checks " remain on the table , even after Trump spoke again by phone Tuesday with NRA chief executive Wayne LaPierre. LaPierre tweeted the two had discussed “the best ways to prevent these types of tragedies,” and called Trump “a strong #2A President.”

Sen. Chris Murphy is working with the White House to keep alive conversations about a potential deal on expanded background checks for gun purchases.

Background checks are still on the table for Trump, says Chris Murphy© Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) speaks during an event to urge the passage of the universal gun background checks legislation in June.

The Connecticut Democrat said Friday he is willing to work with President Donald Trump because lives are at stake, but admits that he sees the chances of passing broad gun control legislation as “less than 50-50.”

Murphy told reporters Friday that in addition to a phone call he had with the president last week, he spoke to White House legislative staff as recently as Thursday night and that he does not think Trump’s support for stronger background checks is off the table.

Trump phoned Democratic senator to talk gun control

Trump phoned Democratic senator to talk gun control President Trump said Tuesday he spoke with Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) about pressing forward on background checks in the wake of recent mass shootings. © Greg Nash Trump phoned Democratic senator to talk gun control "We had a very good conversation. We'll see what happens," Trump told reporters while en route to a speech in Pennsylvania. Murphy has been a leading advocate for more gun control laws since the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in his state in 2012. He tweeted Tuesday that he'd spoken with Trump and Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) about support for background checks legislation.

Chris Murphy , D-Conn., who spoke with Trump last week, said the president expressed support then for working across the aisle "to come They also said "meaningful background checks " remain on the table , even after Trump spoke again by phone Tuesday with NRA chief executive Wayne LaPierre.

Chris Murphy , D-Conn., who spoke with Trump last week, said the president expressed support then for working across the aisle "to come They also said "meaningful background checks " remain on the table , even after Trump spoke again by phone Tuesday with NRA chief executive Wayne LaPierre.

The president’s position on background checks and red flag laws has changed from day to day and he’s offered support for stronger gun laws in the past before retreating. Trump’s most recent comments have emphasized the need to address mental health and calling new gun laws a “slippery slope.”

Murphy said it would be a “nonstarter” if the president tries to tie background checks legislation with an effort to reinstitutionalize people with mental illness, calling Trump’s rhetoric on mental illness “reckless.”

But aversion to Trump’s language and skepticism from fellow Democrats isn’t stopping Murphy from trying. He has been a leading advocate for stricter gun control laws since the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting in his state in 2012. Shootings in Ohio and Texas earlier this month left 31 people dead and renewed debate over tighter gun laws.

Trump appears to back away from stronger gun sale background checks

Trump appears to back away from stronger gun sale background checks After promising "meaningful" new background checks following recent mass shootings, President Donald Trump appears to be walking that back.

Chris Murphy , D-Conn., who spoke with Trump last week, said the president expressed support But a senior White House official pushed back on the notion that Trump was backing away from They also said "meaningful background checks " remain on the table , even after Trump spoke again by

Chris Murphy , D-Conn., who spoke with Trump last week, said the president expressed support then for working across the aisle ‘‘to come They also said ‘‘meaningful background checks ’’ remain on the table , even after Trump spoke again by phone Tuesday with NRA chief executive Wayne LaPierre.

“I am going to try, I see it as my obligation ... because the stakes are so high,” said Murphy.

Murphy said the White House was committed to an anti-gun violence proposal that would include background checks, based on his Thursday evening conversation.

But he said Friday he was “skeptical that these efforts are going to bear fruit. It’s very hard to negotiate with this White House when the president’s public positions seem to change day to day.”

Murphy said that conversations are expected to continue next week with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle involved.

“If this all seems like a ruse, an attempt by the president to make it look like he’s doing something without actually moving the ball down the field, I think we’ll know that in short order,” he said.

What’s on the table

The political reality in the Senate is that if the Republican caucus is not on board with any resulting proposal, it doesn’t have a chance in the chamber.

Schumer assails Trump's 'heartbreaking' apparent reversal on background checks

Schumer assails Trump's 'heartbreaking' apparent reversal on background checks "These retreats from President Trump are not only disappointing but also heartbreaking, particularly for the families of the victims of gun violence," Schumer says.

Chris Murphy , D-Conn., who spoke with Trump last week, said the president expressed support then for working across the aisle "to come They also said "meaningful background checks " remain on the table , even after Trump spoke again by phone Tuesday with NRA chief executive Wayne LaPierre.

Chris Murphy , D-Conn., who spoke with Trump last week, said the president expressed support then for working across the aisle "to come They also said "meaningful background checks " remain on the table , even after Trump spoke again by phone Tuesday with NRA chief executive Wayne LaPierre.

Murphy credited Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell with opening the door to potentially bring up background check legislation.

"Senator McConnell, who has been an unconditional supporter of the gun lobby, has opened the door” to background checks legislation, Murphy said. “My guess is he's doing that because he recognizes that this could be a real political vulnerability” for Republicans heading into the 2020 election.

Murphy said he has not spoken directly with McConnell about gun legislation in the Senate.

Senate Democrats have urged McConnell to call the Senate back from the summer recess to hold an immediate vote on a House-passed gun measure that would expand required background checks to all firearm sales, aimed at covering sales at gun shows, online or in other private settings — with some exceptions such as for hunting, law enforcement and gifts to family. Currently, only licensed firearms dealers must seek a background check.

But Murphy sees a more likely path forward through building consensus around a bipartisan agreement in the Senate, citing White House aides telling him that there is a compromise to be found in legislation from fellow Connecticut Democrat Richard Blumenthal or the bipartisan bill from West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin and Pennsylvania Republican Pat Toomey.

Trump insists US now has 'strong background checks' for guns

Trump insists US now has 'strong background checks' for guns President Donald Trump is insisting the U.S. already has "very, very strong background checks" for gun purchases and is noting many of his supporters "are strong believers in the Second Amendment," in another sign he is backing away from supporting expanded checks. Trump had said in the wake of shooting massacres in Texas and Ohio that he was looking to implement "very meaningful background checks" and that he and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell very much wanted to "do something." But Trump said Tuesday that while the current system has "sort of missing areas and areas that don't complete the whole circle," the system is overall "very, very strong.

Though Trump reportedly pushed his background check plan on LaPierre—“It’s going to be great, Wayne The about-face on background checks is something of a familiar pattern for Trump , who's And as Sen. Chris Murphy recently told my colleague Abigail Tracy, Republicans on the Hill

They also said “meaningful background checks ” remain on the table , even after Trump spoke again by phone Tuesday with NRA chief executive Wayne While two Democrats on the Hill described talks with the White House as largely stalled, others said White House officials have been engaged in

In 2013 the Manchin-Toomey proposal, which would have required background checks on all commercial sales of guns, fell five votes short in the Senate. Murphy sees Toomey as a key ally on the background check issue in the Senate and in conversations with the White House.

“The only way that we pass a bill in the Senate is a proposal, with words on a piece of paper that the president says that he’s for, and the president says it for more than 24 hours at a time,” said Murphy.

Senate Republicans are wary of going out on a limb to support almost anything if they don’t know where the president stands on it. The volatility of the president’s position and his strategy of hitting back, hard, when Republicans take stances in opposition has had a chilling effect on legislating, according to Murphy. That is why he is focusing on bringing Trump on board, in the hopes that Senate Republicans will follow.

“Very few of them want to go out on a limb without knowing if the president will support them,” he said.

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Trump sends mixed messages on background checks.
President Trump told reporters he has an "appetite" for screening measures while also insisting that the U.S. already has strong rules in place. "I have an appetite for background checks," Trump said. "We have a lot of background checks right now." Trump added it was important for lawmakers to fix the "weak" areas in the current system. He also repeated his assertion that gun violence is a mental health issue. The president's remarks came a day after he appeared to back off a previous push for enhanced background checks, just hours after speaking with Wayne LaPierre, head of the National Rifle Association.

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