DNC Chair Response to GOP candidates’ votes against measure to keep terror suspects from buying guns
December 4, 2015
WASHINGTON—DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz released the following statement in response to the Republican presidential candidates’ actions in the U.S. Senate to block gun safety measures. After the statement, read how the votes are being covered in the press:
“The news that one of the perpetrators of the San Bernardino mass shooting had made Facebook posts in support of ISIS reinforces the need to protect our communities, including by preventing anyone on the terror watch list from purchasing assault weapons.
“But just yesterday, Republicans in the Senate including presidential candidates Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Lindsey Graham, and Rand Paul voted against keeping guns out of the hands of suspected terrorists. They also voted against criminal background checks that have wide, bipartisan support including over 80% of gun owners nationally.
“There are things we can do to make our country more safe from mass shooting sprees while respecting our Second Amendment, yet the Republican Party blocks these measures at every turn.
“The Republicans running for president talk a tough game on the campaign trail, but won't stand up to the NRA. Rubio, Cruz, and the others have shown nothing but political cowardice. Yet again, they’ve sided with the NRA to protect the profits of gun manufacturers over the safety of their own constituents and the American people, who are sick of gun tragedies devastating communities across our country. Amazingly these candidates did decide to vote once again to repeal Obamacare and defund Planned Parenthood on the day after the San Bernardino shooting.
“Movie theaters, shopping malls, schools, workplaces, a center for people with disabilities. When is enough enough for the Republican candidates for president? How many more children dead, families destroyed, communities torn apart? Showing sympathy for the victims’ families is not enough. It’s long past time for action.” –DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz
POLITICO // JAKE SHERMAN
Never mind that massacres in Connecticut, Colorado, South Carolina, and now, California have forced uncomfortable questions about the widespread availability of weapons in the United States. And forget the fact that the 14 dead in San Bernardino, California, drowned out an otherwise successful week for the GOP, in which Speaker Paul Ryan laid out his vision for the future of the party, after helping guide two major bills across the finish line.
The reality is quite plain on Capitol Hill: There's still no appetite among Republicans for new gun laws.
SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE // CAROLYN LOCHHEAD
At about the time Wednesday that two shooters under investigation for potentially having terrorist ties were gunning down people at a community center in San Bernardino, House Republicans blocked legislation that would help prevent people on U.S. terrorist watch lists from buying firearms legally.
Republicans blocked the bill again Thursday, without debate, fending off efforts by Democrats to pass the Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act of 2015, sponsored by Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., who had introduced the bill in February.
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS // CAMERON JOSEPH
Senate Republicans voted against barring suspected terrorists, felons and the mentally ill from getting guns on Thursday afternoon, parroting National Rifle Association arguments that doing so would strip some innocent people of their constitutional rights to gun access just a day after yet another massacre on U.S. soil.
A pair of Democratic measures – one to close background check loopholes to make it harder for felons and the mentally ill from buying guns, another to ban those on the terror watch list from buying guns – both went down in flames against near-unanimous GOP opposition.
NEW YORK TIMES // EDITORIAL BOARD
The evolving situation has forced Republican leaders and presidential candidates to contort themselves: talking tough on terrorism, yet ignoring the fact that the two were armed to the teeth with two .223-caliber assault rifles and two 9-millimeter semiautomatic pistols, and hundreds of rounds, all purchased legally.
While the nation suffered through the shock of another bloody massacre, on Thursday every Senate Republican except Mark Kirk of Illinois voted against legislation to prevent people on the F.B.I.’s consolidated terrorist watchlist from purchasing guns or explosives.
USA TODAY // DONOVAN SLACK, PAUL SINGER, AND ERIN KELLY
Republicans in Congress made it clear Thursday that they will not be moving quickly to bring up new gun control legislation in the wake of Wednesday's shootings in San Bernardino, Calif
THE GUARDIAN // ED PILKINGTON AND BEN JACOBS
A day after 14 people were killed in the mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, all four Republican presidential candidates in the US Senate – Ted Cruz, Lindsey Graham, Rand Paul and Marco Rubio – opposed a measure that would introduce tighter gun laws.
They were among Republicans who overwhelmingly voted down a gun control measure that would extend FBI background checks on every firearms purchase.
MSNBC // STEVE BENEN
Common sense suggests public appetite for action on guns is at its height immediately after deadly violence. With two high-profile mass shootings unfolding over the course of five days, one might assume that policymakers, aware of public polling, might feel added pressure to take at least modest steps to address the national scourge.
But those assumptions are always wrong. Always. No matter the circumstances, no matter the direction of the political will, no matter how mild and inoffensive the proposed remedies, congressional Republicans are simply an immovable object.
HUFFINGTON POST // LAURA BARRON-LOPEZ
One day after 14 people were killed in a mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, Senate Democrats pushed through votes on measures to strengthen gun control laws. Republicans succeeded in blocking every single one.
“Members of Congress don't get elected in order to send out sympathy tweets. Members of Congress get paid to change policy to make people safer,” Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) said earlier Thursday. “And what is so offensive, to those of us particularly who have lived through Sandy Hook, is it's not bad enough that we haven't passed any legislation to try to address these epidemic rates of gun violence, but in this Congress we are not even trying.”
ROLLING STONE // TIM DICKINSON
On Thursday morning — hours after the San Bernardino massacre that killed at least 14 people — presidential candidate and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz invoked the ghosts of Paris:
“All of us are deeply concerned that this is yet another manifestation of terrorism — radical Islamic terrorism here at home,” Cruz said. “Coming on the wake of a terror attack in Paris, this horrific murder underscores that we are in a time of war.”
Cruz joined 52 fellow Republicans (and North Dakota Democrat Heidi Heitkamp) in voting to preserve the right of known terrorists to buy the weapons they need to wage war in America.
The amendment was opposed by the National Rifle Association, which spent $26 million to support Republican candidates in the 2014 midterm elections.