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Once the House passes sweeping gun legislation, would it consider a more modest deal with the Senate?

LLast week, the House passed a series of laws that would raise the required purchase age for semi-automatic weapons from 18 to 21 and ban high-capacity magazines and reserve stocks for civilian use, as well as other restrictions. Proponents said the measure would reduce Gun violencewhile opponents said Congress should bolster school safety and improve mental health resources rather than limit gun rights for law-abiding citizens.

The bill is unlikely to pass the Senate, where it would take 10 Republican votes to cross the 60-vote filibuster threshold. But bipartisan negotiations over a legislative response to a series of recent mass shootings are still ongoing in the upper house. Notable participants in those negotiations include Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT), whose home state saw its own elementary school fire a decade ago. Murphy has advocated for bipartisan cooperation on a gun bill following a shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) returned to the Senate after a visit to Uvalde and indicated his willingness to participate in those discussions in a floor speech.

No specific agreement between Senate negotiators has yet been clarified, but senators on both sides expressed optimism about their direction while acknowledging that differences of opinion remain.

In remarks to the Senate on Wednesday as the House debated its gun legislation across the Capitol, Cornyn said he was optimistic about the Senate negotiations.

“Sen. Murphy of Connecticut, Sen. Tillis of North Carolina, Sen. Sinema of Arizona, and I looked at these various factors…that could have prevented some of these tragedies,” Cornyn said. is the best way to look at it: to say, if this had been in place, is it less likely that this tragedy would have happened? In other words, if we do this, is there a chance or probability that we can save lives in the future? For me, that should be our goal.

While saying the group was making “steady progress,” Cornyn argued that “artificial deadlines” aren’t helpful, pushing back against Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who said the Senate would hold a vote over the Democrats. legislation if a bipartite agreement is not reached soon.

Likely steps the Senate will consider include pushing states to pass red flag laws or enhanced background checks that include juvenile criminal records.

In his remarks, Cornyn pointed to requiring states to upload minors’ records to the national instant criminal background check system as an area of ​​potential agreement.

Should the Senate reach a bipartisan agreement, House Democratic leaders would then be faced with a choice between approving a more modest bill than the one it has already passed or not passing anything at all.

Asked at a news conference ahead of last Wednesday’s House vote on whether to consider a Senate bill narrower than House Democrats’ legislation, House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries of New York, said: “I am very confident in our ability to ensure that we continue to lead efforts to pass meaningful gun violence prevention legislation.

Jeffries said the bills before the House “will save lives and make a difference,” adding that a Senate version of the new gun legislation is still hypothetical.

“Because the Senate hasn’t come up with anything for us to look at, it’s speculative to comment on anything they might come up with,” he said. “But we hope they find something meaningful.”

At a June 9 press conference, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi touted the House bills, but said, “Of course, we’re praying for what the Senate might come up with and we’re eager to hear what it is and work together to make it the law of the land.”

Acknowledging that any Senate version of gun legislation will be narrower in scope, Pelosi said she has “trust in those who negotiate in good faith.”

“If it saves lives and can make a difference and they have bipartisan support, we would welcome it, even if it won’t be all we want,” Pelosi said.