WASHINGTON — Democrats may offer gun-related amendments to an annual spending bill under consideration in the U.S. House this week. The push comes following the latest mass shooting by a California college student.
Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., the second ranking Democrat in the House, acknowledged the effort is unlikely to be successful. "I continue to not have high expectations based on past performance," he said.
However, House Democrats have a rare opportunity to offer amendments this week to the Commerce, Justice, Science spending bill because the annual spending bills are generally debated under a process that affords the minority party more flexibility to offer amendments.
Generally, House Republicans control what gets a vote on the floor, and GOP leaders have not brought any new gun legislation up for a vote in this Congress.
"It is clear that one party (wants to vote on this) and the other party does not. The other party is moving in the opposite direction," Hoyer told reporters Wednesday, referencing Republicans.
No decisions have been made, but Hoyer said "it's possible" Democrats could attempt to offer amendments affecting background checks for gun purchases and to remove language affecting gun sellers' reporting requirements on sales of assault-type weapons.
Such votes are unlikely to pass and become law, but they would serve a political purpose in an election year to put lawmakers on record on gun issues.