Speaking before colleagues Wednesday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) betrayed conservatives across the nation, caving to pressure from the left and saying he was “proud to support” the new gun control bill being debated by lawmakers.
“The American people know that we don’t have to choose between safer schools and our constitutional rights,” McConnell told senators. “Our country can and should have both.” He went on to say that while past gun control efforts had attempted to go too far in restricting the Second Amendment, the new legislation being proposed struck the right balance.
The bill, referred to as the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, cleared its first procedural hurdle Tuesday, when senators voted 64-34 to begin debate on the legislation. All 50 Democrats in the Senate voted in favor, with 14 Republicans, including McConnell, joined their ranks.
On Tuesday, McConnell praised the legislation, calling it a “commonsense package of popular steps” that would “help make these horrifying incidents less likely while fully upholding the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens.”
The senator also claimed the bill proved “false” the Democrats’ notion that “Congress could only address the terrible issue of mass murders by trampling on law-abiding Americans’ constitutional
With the bill opened up for debate, Democrats led by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) now look to pass the legislation before the Senate adjourns next week for their July 4 recess. Schumer has said he expects a final vote before the end of the week.
McConnell’s support for the bill likely indicates the legislation will receive enough Republican backing to prevent a Senate filibuster. In a joint statement, Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), one of the Republicans responsible for drafting the bill, expressed his hope that the legislation will receive “broad, bipartisan support.”
Despite McConnell and other Republican senators’ praise of the measure, other GOP lawmakers have expressed doubts about the proposed restrictions. During a closed-door meeting Wednesday, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) told fellow Republicans he would oppose the bill.
Former President Donald Trump also voiced his opposition to the legislation, calling out McConnell and Cornyn for working with “Radical Left Democrats” to take away Americans’ Second Amendment rights.