(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Today, Congressman Jamie Raskin (MD-08) joined Gun Violence Prevention Task Force Chairman Mike Thompson (CA-05) and more than 130 House Democrats in writing to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell urging him to hold a vote on H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Check Act of 2019 and H.R. 1112, the Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2019. Both passed the House with bipartisan support more than 260 days ago and have been blocked from Senate consideration despite widespread public support.
A signed copy of the letter is available here and is copied below.
The letter was signed by Alma Adams (NC-12), Joyce Beatty (OH-03), Ami Bera (CA-07), Don Beyer (VA-08), Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), Lisa Blunt Rochester (DE-AL), Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01), Brendan Boyle (PA-02), Anthony Brown (MD-04), Julia Brownley (CA-26), Salud Carbajal (CA-24), Tony Cárdenas (CA-29), André Carson (IN-07), Kathy Castor (FL-14), Joaquin Castro (TX-20), Judy Chu (CA-27), David Cicilline (RI-01), Gil Cisneros (CA-39), Katherine Clark (MA-05), Yvette Clarke (NY-09), Wm. Lacy Clay (MO-01), Steve Cohen (TN-09), Gerald Connolly (VA-11), Jim Cooper (TN-05), Lou Correa (CA-46), Joe Courtney (CT-02), TJ Cox (CA-21), Angie Craig (MN-02), Charlie Crist (FL-13), Jason Crow (CO-06), Susan Davis (CA-53), Madeleine Dean (PA-04), Rosa DeLauro (CT-03), Antonio Delgado (NY-19), Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11), Ted Deutch (FL-19), Debbie Dingell (MI-12), Lloyd Doggett (TX-35), Eliot Engel (NY-16), Anna Eshoo (CA-18), Adriano Espaillat (NY-13), Dwight Evans (PA-03), Bill Foster (IL-11), Lois Frankel (FL-21), John Garamendi (CA-03), Jesús G. "Chuy" Garcia (IL-04), Josh Gottheimer (NJ-05), Al Green (TX-09), Raúl Grijalva (AZ-03), Debra Haaland (NM-01), Alcee Hastings (FL-20), Chrissy Houlahan (PA-06), Jared Huffman (CA-02), Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18), Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Hank Johnson (GA-04), Robin Kelly (IL-02), Joseph P. Kennedy III (MA-04), Dan Kildee (MI-05), Ann McLane Kuster (NH-02), James Langevin (RI-02), John Larson (CT-01), Brenda Lawrence (MI-14), Andy Levin (MI-09), Mike Levin (CA-49), John Lewis (GA-05), Ted Lieu (CA-33), Zoe Lofgren (CA-19), Alan Lowenthal (CA-47), Nita Lowey (NY-17), Stephen Lynch (MA-08), Tom Malinowski (NJ-07), Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18), Doris Matsui (CA-06), Lucy McBath (GA-06), Betty McCollum (MN-04), Donald McEachin (VA-04), Jim McGovern (MA-02), Jerry McNerney (CA-09), Grace Meng (NY-06), Gwen Moore (WI-04), Joseph Morelle (NY-25), Seth Moulton (MA-06), Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (FL-26), Stephanie Murphy (FL-07), Jerry Nadler (NY-10), Grace Napolitano (CA-32), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC-AL), Frank Pallone Jr. (NJ-06), Jimmy Panetta (CA-20), Chris Pappas (NH-01), Bill Pascrell (NJ-09), Ed Perlmutter (CO-07), Scott Peters (CA-52), Dean Phillips (MN-03), Katie Porter (CA-45), Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), David Price (NC-04), Mike Quigley (IL-05), Jamie Raskin (MD-08), Kathleen Rice (NY-04), Max Rose (NY-11), Harley Rouda (CA-48), Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40), Raul Ruiz (CA-36), Bobby Rush (IL-01), Janice Schakowsky (IL-09), Adam Schiff (CA-28), Brad Schneider (IL-10), Bobby Scott (VA-03), David Scott (GA-13), José E. Serrano (NY-15), Donna Shalala (FL-27), Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11), Albio Sires (NJ-08), Adam Smith (WA-09), Abigail Spanberger (VA-07), Jackie Speier (CA-14), Haley Stevens (MI-11), Thomas Suozzi (NY-03), Eric Swalwell (CA-15), Mark Takano (CA-41), Mike Thompson (CA-05), Dina Titus (NV-01), Rashida Tlaib (MI-13), Paul Tonko (NY-20), Lauren Underwood (IL-14), Juan Vargas (CA-51), Marc Veasey (TX-33), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23), Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), Jennifer Wexton (VA-10), and John Yarmuth (KY-03).
Dear Leader McConnell:
We strongly urge you to vote on and pass H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Check Act, and H.R 1112, the Enhanced Background Checks Act.
Just this week, we witnessed yet another tragedy—the shooting at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, California. Sadly, it is only the latest example of the gun violence plaguing our country from Orinda to Dayton, Chicago to El Paso, Virginia Beach to Charlotte, and many other communities that never make the headlines. You cannot allow such senseless loss of life to continue unabated. You must act.
More than 260 days ago, the House Democratic Majority acted decisively, on a bipartisan basis, and with the support of more than 90 percent of the American people to pass legislation that addresses our nation’s epidemic of gun violence. Since then, you have taken no action on these life-saving measures in the Senate. This delay is unconscionable.
Background checks save lives. Every day, our background check system stops more than 170 felons and 50 domestic abusers from acquiring a firearm. Every day the Senate fails to act increases the likelihood these dangerous individuals can get a gun anyway and lives will be lost.
Again, we urge you to hold a vote on H.R 8, the Bipartisan Background Check Act, and H.R. 1112, the Enhanced Background Checks Act. You can still do the right thing for our communities. The eyes of our nation and of history are on you. Thank you for your attention to this grave matter of urgency.