U.S. gun safety bill still on track after Republican walks out on talks, Democrats say – National

The top Republican negotiator in the US Senate’s effort to hammer out a bipartisan gun safety bill walked out of talks on Thursday, while the top Democrat remained optimistic that lawmakers could vote on the legislation before to leave for a two-week break on the 4th of July.

“It’s fish or cut bait,” Senator John Cornyn said after hours of negotiations that included fellow Republican Senator Thom Tillis and Democratic Senators Chris Murphy and Kyrsten Sinema.

“I don’t know what they have in mind, but I’m done talking,” Cornyn said.

However, Tillis and Murphy later said the talks were close to reaching an agreement and added that legislative text for a bill could emerge in the coming days.

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Here’s what’s in the bipartisan US gun deal, including some surprises

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The bipartisan group has been working on a deal to address gun violence since a gunman killed 19 school children and two adults in Uvalde, Texas, less than two weeks after a racist shooting in Buffalo, New York left 10 dead. The talks have stalled in recent days. Read the full story

“Getting a deal like this is tough. It comes with a lot of emotion. It comes with political risk for both parties. But we’re close enough to be able to make it happen,” said Murphy, the chief Democratic negotiator.

Murphy then released a statement saying, “I think we can put this to a vote next week.”

Time to pass major legislation is running out as the Nov. 8 midterm elections, when Republicans seek to regain control of Congress, draw near.

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US senators reach bipartisan agreement on possible gun reforms

US senators reach bipartisan agreement on possible gun reforms

Murphy and Tillis each told reporters that staff have begun drafting legislative text for the majority of the provisions lawmakers have agreed to. Tillis suggested the text could be available as early as Friday.

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Tillis, saying he expected a deal, declined to speak in detail about the negotiations: “We are too close and we are only in the final stages.”

The group on Sunday announced a framework on measures to address gun violence. It didn’t go as far as Democrats, including President Joe Biden, had hoped, but it would still be the most important action to address gun violence to emerge from Congress in years if passed. .

Disagreements remained on two main provisions: how to incentivize states to create “red flag” laws, in which firearms can be temporarily withdrawn from those deemed dangerous; and the “boyfriend loophole,” which allows authorities to prevent abusive spouses from buying guns, but does not cover “intimate partners” who are unmarried.

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Cornyn, whose home state of Texas does not have a Red Flag law and is considered unlikely to enact one, wants funding for the provision to cover other efforts for people with the disease. mental illness, such as “crisis intervention programs”.

Tillis said negotiators are working on a mechanism that would allow federal funding for states that want to pass red flag laws and states that favor other intervention programs, with parity as the ultimate goal.

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He also said lawmakers are considering existing state laws as models for the boyfriend loophole provision.

(Reporting by David Morgan, Writing by Makini Brice and David Morgan; Editing by Rosalba O’Brien and Stephen Coates)

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