Senate passes bipartisan gun safety law

The Senate passed the bipartisan gun safety bill by a vote of 65 to 33 on Thursday night.

Fifteen Republicans voted with all Democrats in the House to pass the bill. Republican leader Mitch McConnell supported the final pass, as expected.

Republicans who supported the measure were Senators Richard Burr, Roy Blunt, Shelley Moore Capito, Bill Cassidy, Susan Collins, John Cornyn, Joni Ernst, Lindsey Graham, Mitch McConnell, Lisa Murkowski, Rob Portman, Mitt Romney, Thom Tillis, Pat Toomey and Todd Young.

The package is the first major federal gun reform in nearly 30 years.

“Tonight, after 28 years of inaction, bipartisan members of Congress came together to heed the call of families across the country and passed legislation to address the scourge of gun violence in our communities,” President Joe Biden said in a statement. after project approval. . “Families in Uvalde and Buffalo – and many tragic shootings before – demanded action. And tonight, we acted.”

“This bipartisan legislation will help protect Americans. Children in schools and communities will be safer because of it. The House of Representatives should promptly vote on this bipartisan bill and send it to my desk,” added Biden.

The House will need to approve the measure before it can be signed into law, and could pass the bill as early as Friday.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi of California promised “quickly” to bring the gun security package to the floor once it passes the Senate, “so we can send it to President Biden’s desk.”

The Senate had voted on Thursday to halt debate on the bill, which was drafted amid a disturbing increase in US shootings. The same 15 Republicans sided with all 50 members of the Democratic caucus to clear the procedural hurdle.

Senate rules usually require an additional 30 hours of debate after the vote, but Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said he wanted unanimous agreement to scrap that requirement and hold a final vote on Thursday.

On Wednesday, House Republicans urged members to vote against the gun safety package.

“The bill launches emergency supplemental federal spending in the states to encourage the implementation of red flag laws and dramatically increases funding for several other grant programs, but the bill’s vague language contains insufficient protections to ensure the money is actually going to keep weapons out of hands. criminals or preventing mass violence,” the office of Republican Representative Steve Scalise wrote in a memo to Republican lawmakers obtained by ABC News.

The sun shines on the US Capitol dome at the Capitol in Washington on June 9, 2022.

Patrick Semansky/AP

Key aspects of the legislation include expanded federal background checks for shoppers under 21, financial incentives for states to pass “red flag” laws and other intervention programs, and closing the so-called “boyfriend loophole.”

The bill is priced at $13.2 billion, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office announced Wednesday. According to the office, the bill will be paid in full as it once again postpones the Trump-era ban on Medicare prescription drug discounts.

Both Schumer and McConnell Senate Minority Leader R-Ky. supported the legislation – which was drafted by a bipartisan group of lawmakers in the weeks after the tragic shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.

“This bipartisan gun safety legislation is progress and will save lives,” Schumer said earlier this week. “While it’s not all we want, this legislation is urgently needed.”

The Senate’s passage of the gun safety bill comes on the same day the Supreme Court struck down a New York law regulating the carrying of concealed weapons in public that required residents to demonstrate a specific need to carry a weapon outside. From home.

Benjamin Siegel of ABC News contributed to this report.

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