- House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy and Minority Whip Steve Scalise encouraged their members to vote no.
- A Republican congressman who represents Uvalde, Texas, voted for the gun deal.
- Democrats say they will continue to push for more reforms, like banning assault weapons.
WASHINGTON — The House on Friday approved a bipartisan gun deal, virtually cementing the largest package of reforms passed by Congress in nearly 30 years.
Legislation drafted and first passed by the Senate now moves on to President Joe Biden, who urged Congress on Thursday to “finish the job” so he can sign it.
Unlike the Senate vote on Thursday, when 15 Republicans joined Democrats in passing the gun deal, the House voted mostly along party lines.
House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy and Minority Whip Steve Scalise encouraged their members to vote against the legislation after the conservative House Freedom Caucus asked them to oppose it.
29 Republicans voted for the gun bill. Who are they?:Who are the 29 Republicans who voted in favor of the gun safety bill? And why?
House Democrats have a 220-210 margin and ultimately passed the gun deal 234-193. Fourteen Republicans voted in favour.
Representative Tony Gonzales, a Republican who represents Uvalde, Texas, broke ranks with his party and voted in favor of the legislation.
Earlier in the week, he said it was his “duty to pass laws that never violate the Constitution while protecting innocent lives.”
The House debate on the gun bill came shortly after the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, undoing five decades of legal abortions.
The time set aside for debate on the gun bill has sometimes been used to comment on the landmark decision.
The SCOTUS decision:Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, eliminating the constitutional right to abortion
For example, Rep. Jerry Nadler, DN.Y., said he struggled to not approach it.
Nadler said the judges in their ruling said it was “just the beginning of a radical right-wing effort to roll back other rights, including the right to contraception, the right to marry whoever we choose and the fundamental right to privacy”.
Congress has come under increasing pressure on several issues, but none more immediate than gun rights and abortion rights.
May’s mass shootings in Buffalo, New York and Uvalde led to cries from parents and loved ones begging Biden to “do something.”
The bipartisan Senate gun deal was their answer — an answer that many Democrats say doesn’t go far enough, while several Republican voters fear losing their gun rights.
‘Angry no matter what’:Senate gun deal leaves voters on both sides unsatisfied and frustrated
“While more is needed, this package will take action to save lives,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said earlier this month.
Beyond the Senate package, House Democrats will fight for nationwide background checks, banning high-capacity magazines and raising the age to buy guns, which Pelosi says “must also become law”.
Senate Republicans have said those efforts will never make it through their chamber.
What the two sides were able to agree on was what passed in the Senate: strengthened background checks for young buyers, more money for school safety and mental health services, removal of the “boyfriend loophole” and incitement of “red flag” laws.
The legislation provides grants to each state that passes “red flag” laws, which allow courts to remove firearms from those deemed a threat to themselves or others. States that do not pass red flag laws can use the money for other crisis prevention programs.
The Senate votes:Senate passes bipartisan gun deal for first time in three decades, giving Biden needed victory
The senators also approved expanded background checks of gun buyers 21 and under to include their mental health and juvenile justice records. The legislation imposes a waiting period of 10 working days for the seller and the authorities to carry out the examination.
Such a review could have stopped mass shootings last month in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas, as well as a mass shooting in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015, the senators said.
The legislation also closes the so-called “boyfriend loophole,” a legislative gray area that leaves some women vulnerable to gun-related domestic violence.
Current law prevents perpetrators of domestic violence from buying guns if they abused their spouse or partner with whom they had children. The Senate legislation would expand the law to include “boyfriends” or partners in a current or recent relationship “of a romantic or intimate nature” who have been convicted of domestic violence.
The House vote comes a day after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a New York law making it easier for Americans to carry handguns and continuing a contentious gun policy debate.
It also comes at a time when the President needs an accomplishment he can deliver to the American people, who are growing increasingly frustrated with the rising cost of living and the stalling of progress on several elements of the Biden’s agenda.
The debate continues:Congress could pass a gun deal in the Senate, but a broader, tougher standoff is unlikely to move
SCOTUS Decision:The Supreme Court just made a monumental decision on gun rights. Here’s what that means
Candy Woodall is a congressional reporter for USA TODAY. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @candynotcandace.