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February 11, 2016

Posts in "Guns"

January 8, 2016

Giffords Marks Fifth Anniversary of Safeway Shooting


UNITED STATES - JUNE 18: Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, center, gets a hug from Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., left, and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., after Giffords threw out the first pitch before the Congressional Women's Softball game that pits Congresswomen against female journalists at Watkins Recreation Center on Capitol Hill, June 18, 2014. Team Congress prevailed in a 10-5 victory. The game benefits the Young Survival Coalition that helps young women with breast cancer. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Giffords, center, gets a hug from Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz left, and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand after Giffords threw out the first pitch before the Congressional Women’s Softball game in June 2014. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It’s been five years since former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., was shot at a Safeway in her district, a mass shooting that injured 12 others and killed six at a “Congress on Your Corner” event in Casas Adobes near Tucson.

To mark the anniversary, Giffords was in Washington this week. On Thursday, she attended President Barack Obama’s town hall on guns on CNN, and on Friday was at the D.C. headquarters for Americans for Responsible Solutions, the advocacy group she and husband Mark Kelly founded after the shooting, to meet with some of her former congressional staffers and friends. Full story

December 8, 2015

Democrats Tie Up House Floor to Force Vote on Guns Bill


dem_meeting002_071515

Israel said Democrats wanted to “shame Republicans into giving us a vote on stopping terrorists for buying guns in America.” (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Democrats want Republicans to give them a vote on legislation to ban individuals on the terrorist watch list from purchasing guns.

On Tuesday, they got to debate the issue — sort of. Full story

December 4, 2015

Judiciary Chairman Puts Gun Onus on Executive Branch


Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., runs the House Judiciary Committee hearing on "Oversight of the United States Department of Homeland Security" on Thursday, May 29, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Goodlatte. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The member of Congress leading oversight over the Justice and Homeland Security departments, as well as terrorism and crime, said Thursday it was up to the Executive Branch, not Congress, to make sure guns didn’t get into the wrong hands.

“The biggest thing that we can do in regards to gun violence is enforce the laws that we currently have on the books,” House Judiciary Chairman Robert W. Goodlatte, R-Va., said during a taping of C-SPAN’s “Newsmakers” that is set to air Sunday. “We have hundreds of them at the federal level, thousands of them at the state and local level, and the record over the last six years is one of steadily declining enforcement.” Full story

October 19, 2015

Answers to Come in a Week of GOP Leadership Questions


house speaker

Ryan may finally answer the question: Will he run for speaker? (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Republicans return to the Capitol Tuesday with a set of questions and challenges. The most glaring among them remains: Who will lead them?

Speaker John A. Boehner has made it clear he will stay, if needed, beyond his scheduled resignation date at the end of the month. Whether that is necessary should become clear this week. Full story

July 8, 2015

House Democratic Leaders’ Mixed Outlook on Guns


Becerra, D-Calif., talks with Rep. Mike Thompson, D-Calif., during a House Ways and Means Committee markup in Longworth Building, July 31, 2014. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Becerra is frustrated that gun control isn’t more of a priority. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

After last month’s shooting at an AME church in Charleston, House Democrats are renewing calls for gun-control legislation — but members of leadership have differing outlooks on prospects of anything happening.

House Democratic Caucus Chairman Xavier Becerra, speaking to reporters at Wednesday’s weekly news conference, expressed frustration with Congress’ slow movement on important issues generally. Full story

June 23, 2015

House Holds Moment of Silence for Charleston Victims (Video)


Scott spoke about the Charleston church shooting earlier Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Scott spoke about the Charleston church shooting earlier Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

At 7:01 p.m., in the midst of a series of House votes, South Carolina Republican Mark Sanford led his colleagues in observing a moment of silence for the nine victims killed June 17 in the Charleston church massacre.

Sanford, a former governor of the state, was joined on the floor by fellow South Carolina Republicans Tim Scott and Lindsey Graham, who slipped over from the Senate after business had adjourned for the day.

Full story

March 5, 2015

Lawmakers Urge Obama to Expedite Lethal Aid for Ukraine


Adam Smith, D-Wash., speaks during the Democratic members of the House Select Committee on Benghazi news conference on Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Smith is one of three Democrats joining House GOP leaders in calling for immediate lethal aid to Ukraine in its fight against Russian-backed rebels. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Eight House Republicans and three House Democrats agree on something: President Barack Obama should help Ukraine defend itself against Russian aggression — and fast.

On Thursday, the bipartisan group of lawmakers sent Obama a letter urging him to “quickly approve additional efforts to support Ukraine’s efforts to defend its sovereign territory, including the transfer of lethal, defense weapons systems to the Ukrainian military.” Full story

February 10, 2015

Aide Brings ‘Quirky’ Background to Chief of Staff Ranks


Brophy rides his bicycle in Colorado. (Courtesy Greg Brophy Campaign website)

Brophy rides his bicycle in Colorado. (Courtesy Greg Brophy Campaign website)

Barely a month into his new position as chief of staff to freshman Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., Greg Brophy opted, understandably, against sitting down with a reporter who was writing a story about him.

“I no longer do press interviews,” Brophy told CQ Roll Call. “I get to be quirky all by myself.” Full story

November 25, 2014

Congressional Black Caucus Members React to Decision in Ferguson


Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, speaks during the Congressional Black Caucus news conference to discuss today's Supreme Court decision on Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, Shelby County v. Holder on Tuesday, June 25, 2013. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Fudge calls the grand jury’s action a “slap in the face.”  (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Just as America seems divided on the death of a young black man in Ferguson, Mo., members of the Congressional Black Caucus are showing their own divisions over the racially charged incident that has prompted many in Congress to wonder how they should respond.

A CBC spokesperson told CQ Roll Call Tuesday that the special orders hour on the first day the House is back, Monday Dec. 1, would be on Ferguson, but knew of no legislative response lawmakers were planning to take, including legislation to address the militarization of police. There were calls for hearings this summer on the Pentagon-to-police weapons program after the initial protests erupted in Ferguson, but there were no such calls Tuesday — at least not yet.

Instead, it’s been words — statements and tweets — that have marked the different approaches to Ferguson. And Monday night, after a grand jury decided not to indict Darren Wilson, the police offer who shot and killed unarmed teen Michael Brown this summer, members further showed their divisions. Full story

August 14, 2014

Democrats Call for Judiciary Hearings on Ferguson Violence


A police officer standing watch as demonstrators protest the shooting death of teenager Michael Brown conceals her identity. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Three senior Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee are calling on panel chairman Robert W. Goodlatte, R-Va., to hold hearings on the violence that has erupted in Ferguson, Mo., following the police shooting of an unarmed African-American teenager on Aug. 9.

“For the past five days, the citizens of Ferguson have protested the killing of of an unarmed teenager by local police,” wrote ranking member John Conyers Jr., Mich., and two subcommittee chairmen, Robert C. Scott of Virginia and Steve Cohen of Tennessee, in their letter on Thursday afternoon. “Last night, law enforcement broke up the protest with brutal force: confronting demonstrators in riot gear and armored vehicles, arresting journalists, and firing tear gas and rubber bullets into the crowd.

“These incidents raise concerns that local law enforcement is out of control and, instead of protecting the safety and civil liberties of the residents of Ferguson, is employing tactics that violate the rights of citizens … this situation requires immediate congressional scrutiny,” they continued. Full story

May 27, 2014

Isla Vista Shooting Prompts Consideration of Mental Health Bills


Murphy is among the Republicans calling for action on mental health legislation after the shootings in California. (Bill Clark/Roll Call)

Murphy is among the Republicans calling for action on mental health legislation after the shootings in California. (Bill Clark/Roll Call File Photo)

Mental health bills are getting a fresh look after the Isla Vista massacre, with lawmakers in both chambers and both parties pushing Congress to act.

In the aftermath of the killing spree blamed on Elliot Rodger, Democrats activated, issuing what seem like ritual news releases and tweets ripping Congress for failing to act on gun legislation, particularly in the wake of the 2012 massacre in Newtown, Conn.

But few expect Congress to resurrect a gun debate in the shadow of the midterm elections. Full story

By Steven Dennis and Emma Dumain Posted at 5:34 p.m.
Guns

May 25, 2014

Elliot Rodger Sparks New Call for Mental Health Bill


Elliot Rodger massacre sparked a renewed call for a mental health bill in Congress.

The case of Elliot Rodger sparked a renewed call for a mental health bill from Murphy. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Elliot Rodger — the man accused by police of committing a massacre Friday night in California — sparked a renewed call to pass a mental health bill in Congress.

“Our hearts break for the victims and families affected by the tragedy near Santa Barbara. We pray for their souls to find peace. But I am also angered because once again, our mental health system has failed and more families have been destroyed because Washington hasn’t had the courage to fix it,” said Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Pa.

“How many more people must lose their lives before we take action on addressing cases of serious mental illness?” Full story

By Steven Dennis Posted at 10:17 a.m.
Guns, Health Care

April 3, 2014

Boehner Confuses Mental Health Measure for Gun Control, GOP Author Says (Updated)


(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 5:50 p.m. | Speaker John A. Boehner Thursday morning said that Congress had recently passed a provision to address whether people with mental health issues have access to weapons, but the measure’s Republican author said his bill actually does nothing of the sort.

Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Pa., told CQ-Roll Call that despite Boehner’s assertion, his measure to incentivize outpatient treatment for mental health issues has nothing to do with keeping guns out of the hands of the severely mentally ill.

“Not our bill, no. It’s a whole different issue,” Murphy said. “I think he confused that. When he said that it dealt with it, I think he confused that.”

At his regular weekly press conference, Boehner was asked whether Congress should act to address Wednesday’s mass shooting at Fort Hood. He responded by telling reporters that Congress approved “funding for a pilot project dealing with mental health issues and weapons” as part of the “doc fix” deal to keep doctor pay from being cut.

“There’s no question that those with mental health issues should be prevented from owning weapons or being able to purchase weapons,” Boehner said. “This issue we need to continue to look at to find ways to keep weapons out of the hands of people who should not have them.”

Full story

Fort Hood Shooting Reopens Unresolved Issues


(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Carter and his Texas colleagues want to recognize victims of the 2009 Fort Hood massacre. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Another deadly shooting at the Fort Hood Army base in Texas has pushed still unresolved issues related to the massacre there nearly five years ago back to the congressional forefront.

Even before Wednesday’s incident that reportedly left four dead and 14 wounded, Texas lawmakers in particular have been continuing to push for victims from the November 2009 tragedy to be recognized by the federal government. Nidal Malik Asan killed 13 people and wounded more than 30 others at Fort Hood — an incident that shocked the nation and kicked off debate inside and outside of Washington.

For one, there were issues with the compensation benefits for the veterans wounded and the families of those killed — and the Texas delegation has fought for years to award Purple Hearts to the soldiers killed or wounded.

Another debate has centered on exactly how to classify the shooting: was it a terrorist attack, or an act of work-place violence?

Earlier this week, Rep. John Carter, R-Texas, issued a press release detailing his intentions to question Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. over why the Obama administration did not label the shooting an act of terror.

Late Wednesday as more information about the shootings was revealed, Carter issued a statement pointedly referencing the 2009 incident.

“The idea that a second attack could happen at Fort Hood is heartbreaking not only to the victims, but to the survivors. The knowledge that a soldier could attack another soldier is devastating to the emotional wellbeing of our troops, which is why in the aftermath of this tragedy support for our troops is more important than ever,” Carter said. “We need to rally around the community and provide the safety and security these people deserve. It is my mission in Congress to ensure that the victims of the 2009 attack and today’s attack are protected and helped from this point forward. While we do not know the motives of the shooter at this time, I will continue to investigate this crisis until all the facts are known. But for now the best we can do is to pray and support the community.”

Full story

November 13, 2013

GOP Lawmakers Release Holder Articles of Impeachment


Attorney General Eric Holder on Capitol Hill earlier this year. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Attorney General Eric Holder on Capitol Hill earlier this year. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A rump group of House Republicans are tired of waiting for answers from Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. — they want him impeached and will formally introduce their charges Thursday.

As Roll Call previously reported, a small group of GOP lawmakers have been drafting articles of impeachment for Holder over a string of controversies, including a Department of Justice refusal to turn over documents related to Operation Fast and Furious, a refusal to uphold certain laws — namely the Defense of Marriage Act, the Controlled Substances Act and the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986 — and a refusal to prosecute IRS officials who accessed tax records of political donors and candidates without authorization. The articles of impeachment also charge that Holder provided false testimony to Congress — a “clear violation” of law.

Texas Republican Pete Olson, who is leading the charge behind the Holder articles of impeachment, said this wasn’t a decision he took lightly.

“Since the House voted in 2012 to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt, the pattern of disregard for the rule of law and refusal to be forthright has continued,” Olson said in a statement to CQ Roll Call. “The American people deserve answers and accountability. If the Attorney General refuses to provide answers, then Congress must take action.”

Olson told CQ Roll Call that he would be dropping the articles of impeachment Thursday. On Wednesday, he released a five-page white paper explaining the four articles of impeachment against Holder. Full story

By Matt Fuller Posted at 4:13 p.m.
Guns

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