Exclusive: Lead Republican negotiator in U.S. Senate gun talks expects bill Tuesday

Protesters hold signs as they take part in the ‘March for Our Lives,’ one of a series of nationwide protests against gun violence, in Washington, DC, U.S., June 11, 2022. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts/File Photo

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WASHINGTON, June 21 (Reuters) – U.S. Senator John Cornyn, the lead Republican negotiator in the bipartisan gun legislation talks, told Reuters on Tuesday that negotiators plan to introduce a bill to tackle the shootings of mass later in the day.

The Texas Republican said negotiators, including fellow Republican Senator Thom Tillis and Democratic Senators Chris Murphy and Kyrsten Sinema, spoke to each other early in the day by phone and were now waiting for staff to produce legislative text.

“I think we’re on a glide path, and hopefully he lands soon,” Cornyn said in an interview shortly after speaking with fellow negotiators. He said he expected the bill to be introduced in the Senate later in the day, but gave no specific time.

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Introducing the bill on Tuesday would improve the chances of passage through the Senate before lawmakers leave for their two-week break on July 4 at the end of this week.

The bipartisan group has been working on a deal to tackle gun violence since a gunman killed 19 children and two teachers at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, less than two weeks after a racist shooting at a Buffalo supermarket , New York, left 10 dead. The talks have stalled in recent days. Read more

The group announced a framework agreement more than a week ago. But talks had bogged down over a few issues, including whether to include “Hyde Amendment” language to prevent the proposal from being used to pay for abortions.

When asked if the abortion impasse had been overcome, Cornyn replied, “Yes. I believe so. Hyde applies.”

The measure doesn’t go as far as Democrats, including President Joe Biden, had hoped, but, if passed, it would still be the most important action to address gun violence to emerge from Congress in decades. years.

Lawmakers had also negotiated a provision to encourage states to pass “red flag” laws, in which firearms can be temporarily withdrawn from people deemed dangerous; and a “boyfriend loophole”: authorities can stop violent spouses from buying guns, but not “intimate partners” who aren’t married. Read more

Cornyn walked out of the talks on Thursday, demanding that the red flag provision also allow funding for states that opt ​​for other methods of intervention instead.

The next day, at his state’s Republican convention, he was booed as he discussed the bill in a speech. Read more

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Reporting by David Morgan; Editing by Scott Malone and Jonathan Oatis

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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