The Senate Homeland Security Committee is holding a hearing Thursday on white supremacist violence in the wake of the racially motivated shooting in Buffalo, New York.
The event is scheduled to start at 10 a.m. ET. Look in the player above.
The House on Wednesday passed a sweeping gun control bill in response to the recent mass shootings in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas, that would raise the age limit for buying guns. a semi-automatic rifle and would prohibit the sale of ammunition magazines with a capacity of more than 15 rounds.
The legislation passed by a majority partisan vote of 223 to 204. It has almost no chance of becoming law as the Senate continues negotiations focused on improving mental health programs, strengthening school safety and improving background checks. But the House bill gives Democratic lawmakers a chance to outline for voters in November their position on policies that polls show have broad support.
“We can’t save every life, but my God, shouldn’t we try? America, we hear you and today in the House we are taking the action you demand,” said Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-Texas. “Note who is with you and who is not.”
The push comes after a House committee heard heartbreaking testimony from recent shooting victims and family members, including 11-year-old girl Miah Cerrillo, who covered herself in the blood of a comrade class died to avoid being shot at Uvalde Primary School.
The seemingly endless cycle of mass shootings in the United States has rarely prompted Congress to act. But the shooting of 19 children and two teachers in Uvalde reinvigorated the effort in a way that has lawmakers on both sides talking about the need to respond.
“It’s sickening, it’s sickening that our children have to live in this constant fear,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
Pelosi said the House vote would “make history by making progress.” But it’s unclear where the House measure will go after Wednesday’s vote, given Republicans were adamant in their opposition.
“The answer is not to destroy the Second Amendment, but that’s exactly where Democrats want to go,” said Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio.
The work to find common ground is mostly taking place in the Senate, where the support of 10 Republicans will be needed to get a bill signed. Nearly a dozen Democratic and Republican senators met privately for an hour on Wednesday in hopes of reaching a framework for compromise legislation by the end of the week. Participants said more conversations were needed on a plan that should come up with modest milestones.
In a measure of the political peril that gun control efforts pose to Republicans, five of the six top GOP negotiators in the Senate will not be reelected until 2026. Those are the meanings. Bill Cassidy from Louisiana, Susan Collins from Maine, John Cornyn from Texas, Lindsey Graham from South Carolina and Thom Tillis from North Carolina. The sixth, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, is retiring in January. It’s also worth noting that none of the six are seeking the Republican presidential nomination.
While Cornyn said the talks were serious, he did not join the chorus of Democrats saying the outlines of a deal could be reached by the end of this week. He told reporters on Wednesday that he considered a deal before Congress begins a recess at the end of June to be “an ambitious goal.”