this June22, 2016 file photo, House Speaker Paul Ryan of
Wis. speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in
Washington. The House won't vote on proposed Democratic gun
curbs, Ryan suggested Tuesday, July 5, 2016, as the
rekindled election-year clash over firearms showed no sign
The House won't vote on proposed Democratic gun curbs, Speaker
Paul Ryan suggested Tuesday as the rekindled election-year clash
over firearms showed no sign of resolution. Democrats discussed
their demands for votes with Ryan and said they told him:
"We're not going away."
In an interview
early Tuesday, Ryan, R-Wis., said Democrats' plans to broaden
required background checks for gun buyers and to bar firearm sales
to terror suspects were unconstitutional. And though he did not
directly say he would block votes on the Democrats' bills, he said
Republicans had no intention of rewarding Democrats for their
lengthy House floor sit-in two weeks ago to demand gun-control
elections and get the majority, then you can set the agenda,"
Ryan said on the "Midday with Charlie Sykes" show on
WTMU radio in Milwaukee.
he met privately with two leaders of that sit-in, Reps. John Lewis
of Georgia and John Larson of Connecticut, in a session the two
Democrats described as respectful.
action, and we wanted action now," Lewis, the civil rights
hero, told reporters of their message to Ryan. "And I think
the speaker heard us, he was listening. But he couldn't give us
any assurance" that he'd allow votes on the Democratic
going away," Larson said. "And we're determined in that
AshLee Strong said the two parties "have different views on
how to achieve a shared goal of preventing gun deaths,"
especially over how to protect gun owners' rights. She said the
next steps on anti-terror legislation "will be discussed and
determined by the majority in the coming days."
That seemed less
assured than earlier comments from Ryan and other Republicans that
the House would vote on GOP legislation this week. Late Tuesday,
Republicans were working to line up enough GOP support for their
own measure, with some in the party having questions about the
bill's grants, its procedural protections for gun owners and other
convened peacefully Tuesday for its first session since Democrats
seized control of the chamber last month with a sit-in that lasted
almost 26 hours. Democrats delivered speeches demanding votes on
gun curbs but took no disruptive actions.
The GOP has
planned to approve Republican legislation this week that would let
federal authorities block gun sales to suspected terrorists, but
only if they could prove in court within three days that the
suspect was planning to engage in terrorism.
That bill, which
resembles National Rifle Association legislation that the Senate
rejected last month, is considered ineffective by Democrats
because they say the mechanism it sets would prove unworkably
complicated. Even so, it reflects the pressure for action the June
12 mass shooting in Orlando, Florida, has placed on GOP leaders,
who since the 2012 slaying of school children in Newtown,
Connecticut, have not brought broad gun restrictions to the House
victims were killed in Orlando, the worst mass-shooting in modern
American history. It was conducted by Omar Mateen, a gunman who
pledged support for leaders of the Islamic State extremist group,
according to transcripts of his conversations with authorities.
measure would also create a new office within the Department of
Homeland Security to focus on battling what it calls "radical
Islamist terrorism" in the U.S.
Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said he was looking into reports
that Democrats treated the House's professional staff
disrespectfully including "intimidation," and may have
even damaged House furniture while taking over the chamber. He
said he and Ryan would meet with the sergeant at arms later
Tuesday to discuss what happened.
suggested House leaders hoped to take action to prevent any
recurrence and potentially punish some people involved, but said
for now they were still collecting facts.
continue that behavior on the floor of the House of
Representatives. I'll leave it at that," McCarthy told
reporters at the Capitol. "That will not be tolerated."
people were arrested, including relatives of gun victims, after
demonstrating in the Capitol Rotunda for gun-control measures.
They were charged with demonstrating in areas where that is