By PAOLA CHAVEZ
So that’s it, right? A bipartisan bill has been introduced, the gun lobby says it’s on board, and the Trump White House wants a seat at the table that will generate the most significant new federal gun safety legislation of the 21st century. That’s a whole lot of movement less than a week after the worst mass shooting in U.S. modern history, particularly given the immediate reaction about the appropriate “time and place for a political debate.” But focusing on the details of the NRA’s statement on “bump stocks” suggests a reason or three for caution. By stating that devices allowing guns to “function like fully-automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations,” the NRA is kicking the issue to regulation, not legislation. (The group’s every mention of the subject, it seems, includes a reference to the Obama ATF’s decision not to regulate – which, of course, was based on interpretations of the law.) NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre took a half-step back from the initial statement on “Hannity” last night: “We ought to take a look at that and see if it is in compliance with federal law and if it’s worthy of additional regulation. That being said, we didn’t say ban, we didn’t say confiscate.” And even if something tangible does come of this, it may be less than it seems in terms of substance. Banning or severely restricting bump stocks may be the right thing to do, but it wasn’t something anyone was talking about literally a week ago.
If average Democratic voters were tasked with choosing the party’s leader, it’s doubtful they would pick Nancy Pelosi. The debate about needing fresh faces waged well before Democrats’ big electoral loss last November. Since then, Republicans have proven how divisive the long-time, San Francisco lawmaker can be. Tying local Democratic candidates to the minority leader has emerged as a direct strategy for the GOP. Knowing this, plenty of Democrats were not shocked that the vice chair of the House Democratic Caucus, Rep. Linda Sanchez, told reporters yesterday she thought the top brass should pass the torch. One senior Democratic aide described Sanchez’s comments as craven and ungrateful. After all, Pelosi had successfully navigated the fight over the ACA repeal and recently negotiated with President Trump on DACA. If not Pelosi, then who, others ask? No one senses real momentum around any other leader. Even some lawmakers, who were skeptical about her continued tenure at the start of the year, said yesterday it was just unproductive to be talking about changing leadership in a time where opposition to Trump is uniting Democrats, ABC NEWS’ MARYALICE PARKS writes.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY
“They have not lived up to the spirit of their agreement”: President Trump is poised to “decertify” the Iran nuclear agreement next week, setting up tough choices for Congress and a possible provocation with the Iranian regime.
White House chief of staff John Kelly’s personal phone was comprised earlier this year, potentially exposing his calls and data to hackers or foreign governments, per Politico.
Linda Sanchez, the highest-ranking House Democrat, said Thursday “it’s time” for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and her team to step down and make way for the next generation.
Momentum in the fight for gun control. The National Rifle Association (NRA) is calling for a federal review of bump stocks, and the White House is signaling openness to new regulations.