Party leaders say they aim to mark up three gun control bills this week, and are pressing for the Senate's Republican leadership to allow a vote on a landmark gun background check bill that cleared the House earlier this year.
US lawmakers return to Congress Monday after a summer rocked by multiple mass shootings, with Democrats pressuring President Donald Trump and his Republicans to take action to restrict access to guns.
Republicans and Democrats in the Senate and House need to approve spending bills to avoid another government shutdown.
The push comes in the wake of recent shootings in Texas and Dayton.
Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, in the nation's capital with a group of mayors to lobby senators and the White House this week to act on gun control, pressed McConnell for an up or down vote on H.R. 8.
Trump has said he favored action, possibly on tackling mental health issues related to gun violence or expanded background checks.
Trump has met or spoken with lawmakers from both parties on possible gun legislation. Congress openly votes. The president signs the bill into law or vetoes it. Force Trump to stop vacillating and to sign or veto bills.
A man walks up the steps of the U.S. Capitol Building at dusk January 20, 2018, in Washington, D.C. Congress returns to Washington this week amid mounting pressure from Democrats and the public to enact new gun restrictions.
The poll indicated 89% of Americans support background checks for all gun buyers, 96% among Democrats, 90% among independents and 83% among Republicans.
"We're meeting with the White House, with anyone who will listen to us, about what this has done to our community", Whaley, a Democrat, said during remarks at the Capitol.
"As we wait for them to complete their work so that we can begin conference negotiations, a continuing resolution will be necessary to prevent another government shutdown like the one we experienced earlier this year, which harmed thousands of American families", Hoyer said in a letter to House Democrats last week.
Sen. Roy Blunt, R- Mo., said Sunday on NBC News" "Meet the Press" that "the president needs to step up here and set some guidelines for what he would do. We're dealing with Republicans. "You are uniquely positioned to answer their call", the duo wrote. "At the same time, we have to protect our Second Amendment very strongly and we will always do that", he added, referring to the U.S. Constitution provision guaranteeing a right to bear arms.
"If the president is in favor of a number of things that he has discussed openly and publicly and I know that if we pass it, it will become law, I'll put it on the floor", McConnell said.
"Background checks are the base from which we must do anything", Schumer said on Monday. "They can't escape that responsibility".
Passing the background checks bill remains a top priority for Democrats, just as it was before lawmakers left for their six-week recess, Pelosi said.
The GOP-held Senate is prone to go forward with the transfer, and all sides wish to keep away from a repeat shutdown debacle after President Donald Trump compelled a partial 35-day authorities shutdown final yr in hopes of successful extra funding for his long-sought border wall. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., and Sen. Joe Manchin on a bill to expand background checks, said Trump "has a real interest in doing something in this area". Several Republican senators are also now more interested but, he said, "it's hard to say how this will turn out".
Congresswoman Veronica Escobar, who represents El Paso, noted that the Odessa shooter used such a loophole to buy the assault rifle he used in his August 31 rampage, and condemned those who have opposed closing that gap.
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