Mild thaw in gun policy opens window for Senate: The memo

The TAKE with Rick Klein

If this time is going to be different, it will have to be different in many ways at the same time.

Securing a Senate gun bill will require real compromise between lawmakers whose reputations and records are at stake. It will have to happen with President Joe Biden on the sidelines of the legislature — despite his vow of action on the ground in Uvalde, Texas on Sunday — and with former President Donald Trump sidelined, period.

Crucially, the gun policy thaw that has – with few exceptions – set in in the week since the Uvalde tragedy will have to last long enough for senators’ Zoom meetings to bear fruit. The seeds may be in what is neither in nor out among lawmakers involved in the discussions.

Senator John Cornyn attends a press conference at Uvalde High School on May 25, 2022 in Uvalde, Texas.

Jordan Vonderhaar/Getty Images

Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., told ABC’s Jonathan Karl on “This Week” that while he supports things like an assault weapons ban and raising the minimum age for long-gun purchases at 21, such provisions might not be able to make it into a final package that brings together at least 10 Republicans with the support of Democrats.

“That may be the most important thing we can do is just show that progress is possible and that the sky is not falling for Republicans if they support some of these common sense measures.” , Murphy said.

Another thing that should be different: The top Democrat in the Senate and the top Republican in the Senate will have to continue to give their members the opportunity to speak. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer did not schedule a vote on a bill he knew would fail, and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell deputized for a top lieutenant who represents Texas, Sen. John Cornyn, to lead the GOP side of the talks.

Cornyn, who opted out of a scheduled appearance at the National Rifle Association meeting in Houston on Friday, told Memorial Day reporters he would resume talks with senators from both parties on Tuesday “to see if we can agree on a basic framework on how we move forward.”

The RUNDOWN with Alisa Wiersema

With two of his chosen candidates in Georgia’s statewide races losing their primaries and his Senate pick in Pennsylvania facing an ongoing primary recount, the shine of a Trump endorsement appears to have faded. blunted during the first major midterm primaries.

The fallout further raises the stakes in Trump’s quest to oust Representative Liz Cheney – his most vocal congressional critic – from her seat in Wyoming. Trump backs Harriet Hageman, a lawyer who previously tried to block his rise to become the party’s 2016 presidential nominee. (Hageman said she “came to rally behind President Trump when he won the nomination” .)

PICTURED: Former President Donald Trump speaks during a rally May 28, 2022 in Casper, Wyoming.

Former President Donald Trump speaks during a rally May 28, 2022 in Casper, Wyoming.

Strange Chet/Getty Images

At a rally in Casper, Wyoming over the weekend, Trump attacked Cheney and his political family, calling her a “RINO” and more broadly calling the Cheneys “hardcore globalists and warmongers” who “have never encountered a war they have not encountered”. I do not like.”

“I’m going to reclaim the only congressional seat in Wyoming from this Virginian who currently holds it,” Hageman said.

Despite a litany of attacks from the former president, Cheney’s re-election campaign has garnered more than $10 million in fundraising and remains adamant about casting Trump out as Republican leader. The move marks a significant difference between how other non-Trump-backed conservatives have so far navigated the campaign landscape — most have acknowledged the former president’s influence within the party, rather than to categorically oppose him.

The choice still presents Cheney with an uphill battle given that Republicans in her own state party have tried to vote her down. The upcoming Jan. 6 public hearings are also likely to reignite attacks on Cheney given his position as one of only two Republicans on the panel investigating events surrounding the insurgency.

In a likely preface to the upcoming campaign battle on Saturday, Hageman told supporters, “We’re sick of the Jan. 6 commission and these people who think they can enlighten us.”

The COUNCIL with Hannah Demissie

Texas lawmakers are once again in the national spotlight due to their state’s impact on national political trends – this time on gun legislation in the wake of the Uvalde shooting.

Most top Republicans in the Lone Star State have so far shunned the public’s desire for more robust gun control measures.

On Friday, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who is up for re-election in 2024, spoke at the NRA convention in Houston. He dismissed the need for gun legislation.

“It’s both complicated and multifaceted. It’s much easier to moralize about guns and shout about those you disagree with politically, but that’s never been about guns,” Cruz said.

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, whose term ends in 2027, took a different approach than Cruz and pulled out of the conference altogether. He also helps lead the GOP side of congressional negotiations on a possible gun bill, though he said those talks are still in their early stages.

PHOTO: Senator Ted Cruz speaks at the NRA-ILA leadership forum at the National Rifle Association's annual convention in Houston, May 27, 2022.

Senator Ted Cruz speaks at the NRA-ILA Leadership Forum during the National Rifle Association’s annual convention in Houston, May 27, 2022.

Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

Cornyn is also a co-author of the Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act. If passed, it would allow people with concealed carry privileges in their home state to carry in other states.

Slated for re-election this year, Governor Greg Abbott also decided not to attend the NRA convention, but participated in the event anyway by sending in a pre-recorded speech.

“There are thousands of laws on the books across the country that restrict the possession or use of firearms – laws that have failed to stop madmen from committing evil acts on innocent people and communities. peaceful,” Abbott said in his remarks.

His speech to the NRA contradicts what he told the Uvalde community the same day at a press conference.

“Regarding a special [legislative session], let me say this: all options are on the table,” Abbott said then of how Texas would combat gun violence. “Do we expect laws to come out of this devastating crime? The answer is absolutely yes.”

Meanwhile, state Democrats have urged leaders to enact gun control laws to prevent further mass shootings. Texas Senate Democrats sent a letter to Abbott requesting a special session to pass such legislation.

In the letter, Democrats called for the special session to include passing legislation that would raise the minimum age to buy a gun to 21, require universal background checks for all gun sales fire and would implement “red flag” laws.


Texas Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn, who represent the state where an 18-year-old gunman carried out one of the nation’s deadliest shootings last week, are among Congress’ top recipients of contributions from pro-gun donors, View campaign finance records. Cruz, in particular, received the most money from pro-gun individuals and groups of any current member of Congress, raising $442,000 during his career, according to an analysis of disclosure reports by the nonpartisan campaign finance research group OpenSecrets.

NUMBER OF THE DAY, powered by FiveThirtyEight

861. This is the number of women who died from causes related to pregnancy and childbirth in 2020, according to recently released government dataa, giving America one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world for a wealthy country. And like FiveThirtyEight’s Maggie Koerth and Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux write, it is black women in the United States who are disproportionately affected. Read more from Maggie and Amelia on why the cancellation of Roe v. Wade would likely worsen maternal mortality rates in the United States.


ABC News’ “Start Here” podcast. start here starts tuesday morning with a timeline of the Uvalde Elementary School shooting by ABC’s Aaron Katersky. Next, ABC’s MaryAlice Parks explains what is being done to prevent possible mass shootings in the future. And, ABC’s Gio Benitez details Memorial Day flight cancellations amid COVID-19 staffing shortages.


  • President Joe Biden will host Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand at 11:00 a.m. ET at the White House — the first visit by a New Zealand leader since 2014 — to discuss continued partnership and a shared vision for an open Indo-Pacific.
  • The President will meet Vice President Kamala Harris at 12:00 p.m. ET for a private lunch.
  • The president will meet with Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell to discuss the state of the U.S. and global economy and rising inflation at 1:15 p.m. ET.
  • The President will meet with K-POP group BTS to discuss Asian inclusion and representation and the fight against anti-Asian hate crimes and discrimination at 3:00 p.m. ET in a closed meeting.
  • Press officer Karine Jean-Pierre will hold a press briefing at 2:30 p.m. ET.

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