Fifteen Republican senators and 14 Republican House members voted with Democrats Thursday and Friday to pass gun safety legislation, the first of its kind in three decades.
The bill now heads to President Joe Biden to be signed into law.
The bill, known as the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, includes billions of dollars in funding for state mental health services and school safety. It also targets the “boyfriend loophole” which allows romantic partners to own guns after being convicted of domestic violence. The bill also provides grants to states to pass “red flag” laws, which allow courts to remove firearms from those deemed a threat to themselves or others.
Ten of the Senate Republicans were part of initial negotiations on the bill in May, following mass shootings in Buffalo, New York and Uvalde, Texas, which pressured lawmakers to meet on the legislation .
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., expressed tentative support for the measure last week and voted in favor of the bill Thursday.
Only two of the 15 Senate Republicans who voted for are re-elected this year: Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Todd Young of Indiana.
Four of the senators are due to leave office this year: Senators Rob Portman of Ohio, Roy Blunt of Missouri, Richard M. Burr of North Carolina and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania.
The rest of the Republican senators are not eligible for re-election until 2026, with the exception of Utah’s Mitt Romney, whose election is in 2024.
Among the members of the Republican House, five out of fourteen retire at the end of their term. Congressman Tom Rice of South Carolina just lost his first re-election bid.
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The 15 Senate Republicans were:
- Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
- Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas
- Senator Thom Tillis, RN.C.
- Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo.
- Senator Richard Burr, RN.C.
- Senator Bill Cassidy, R-La.
- Senator Susan Collins, R-Maine
- Senator Lindsey Graham, RS.C.
- Senator Rob Portman, R-Ohio
- Late. Mitt Romney, R-Utah
- Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa.
- Senator Joni Ernst, R-Iowa
- His. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska
- Sen. Todd Young, R-Ind.
- Senator Shelly Moore Capito, RW.Va.
The 14 members of the Chamber were:
- Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo.
- Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich.
- Representative Anthony Gonzalez, R-Ohio
- Representative Steve Chabot, R-Ohio
- Representative Michael Turner, R-Ohio
- Representative Dave Joyce, R-Ohio
- Representative Chris Jacobs, R.N.Y.
- Representative Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa.
- representing Vicente Gonzalez, R-Texas
- Rep. Maria Salazar, R-Fla.
- representing John Katko, R-Ky.
- Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill.
- Rep. Tom Rice, RS.C.
- Rep. Peter Meijer, R-Mich.
Many Republicans who voted for the bill have A or A-plus ratings from the National Rifle Association.
Some Republicans who voted in favour, including Capito and Murkowski, were uncertain ahead of procedural votes held this week. Both had not expressed support for the bipartisan framework announced in May, saying they needed to review the text of the bill before deciding.
Murkowski is running for re-election this year in Alaska, a state with some of the most lax gun laws in the country. In a video she tweeted on Wednesday, Murkowski said she wants to see congressional efforts to protect children in schools while acting in good faith to protect the rights of “proud gun owners” by Alaska.
Senators who did not vote for the bill expressed doubts about gun ownership controls, such as the “red flag” and “boyfriend loophole” laws.