CLOSINGS: View Closings

Gun control in Congress state of play: Familiar obstacles arise

Republican leaders in both chambers of Congress appear very wary of entering into a gun debate.The House finis...

Posted: Feb 27, 2018 2:21 PM
Updated: Feb 27, 2018 2:21 PM

Republican leaders in both chambers of Congress appear very wary of entering into a gun debate.

The House finishes work for the week this afternoon. The Senate GOP's fast track effort to move a narrow, but bipartisan background check compliance bill was blocked Monday night, and the balance of the chamber's week is scheduled to be spent on nomination votes.

Senate lawmakers in both parties are all over the map on what they want (or don't want) to do.

Bottom line: If the first day back on Capitol Hill for lawmakers since the Parkland shooting was any indication, this time is not, in fact, different when it comes to the gun debate -- at least so far.

What is the President saying on guns?

The thing that scrambles the current trajectory on the Hill (read: not going anywhere fast) is the President. It doesn't guarantee something will happen, but even the most skeptical of Republican aides and lawmakers have been surprised to the degree President Donald Trump has stuck with this issue so far.

"If he demands something specific, we probably have to give it a shot," one senior GOP aide said. But there's a key caveat in there -- "something specific." Lawmakers and aides don't really have a real sense what the President actually wants. That needs to change before proposals can advance.

Keep an eye on this

The Senate GOP conference closed door lunch Tuesday is where Republicans will discuss their next steps on the gun issue -- whether they want to pursue something more expansive, either on the policy side or just the debate side. What lawmakers say coming out of that will likely determine the course of the debate in the chamber.

Also keep an eye on: Students who survived the shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School were on the Hill on Monday meeting with lawmakers. They are scheduled to do the same Tuesday.

To be clear: Monday's lack of substantive movement wasn't a shock. GOP sources had been telegraphing this to us throughout the last five or six days. But the tone of rank-and-file lawmakers back in the Capitol was hardly that of a group ready to engage in an expansive, impassioned and divisive debate.

CNN asked one Democratic senator what specifically he thought would happen on guns and he just shrugged. When asked if he thought anything would happen on guns, he responded by slowly started shaking his head "no."

The parameters

To get a good sense of why things are already bogged down, you have to take a look at where the lawmakers actually stand.

There's a group of Republicans who would prefer nothing gun related be considered. On the other side of the spectrum, you've got House lawmakers who have already introduced and assault style weapons ban (it has no chance of passing either chamber).

Democrats want an expansive debate on gun issues -- from universal background checks and potentially more.

Sen. Chuck Schumer said on Monday passing only the Fix NICS background checks bill -- a bill Schumer co-sponsors -- an "abject failure and dereliction of duty."

Republicans, to the extent there is a desire to move something, want narrow and limited.

Or, as Sen. John Cornyn, the co-author of the Fix NICS bill, put it: "I'm for doing what's achievable."

What doesn't clearly exist at the moment is some kind of clear middle ground beyond the Fix NICS bill that was blocked (but has the support to pass the Senate) Monday night.

Flagging: CNN's Deirdre Walsh picked up last night that the House Freedom Caucus has due process issues with the Fix NICS bill. Even if that does find a way through the Senate, without the concealed-carry reciprocity provision, it doesn't currently have a clear path in the House Republican conference.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 484675

Reported Deaths: 9480
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison33151493
Hinds31184589
DeSoto30803365
Jackson23735349
Rankin21390373
Lee14963221
Madison14206272
Jones13430227
Forrest13199241
Lauderdale11623307
Lowndes10501176
Lamar10258130
Pearl River9151221
Lafayette8268137
Hancock7534113
Washington7144152
Oktibbeha6989124
Monroe6533167
Neshoba6489201
Warren6486166
Pontotoc632993
Panola6278127
Marshall6165126
Bolivar6129145
Union576089
Pike5626138
Alcorn540590
Lincoln5310132
George473572
Scott461596
Leflore4495140
Tippah448180
Prentiss447979
Itawamba4457100
Adams4429117
Tate4420103
Wayne434667
Simpson4339114
Copiah432988
Yazoo423686
Covington417192
Sunflower4155104
Marion4111104
Coahoma3986100
Leake398286
Newton372375
Grenada3565104
Stone351360
Tishomingo338389
Attala325987
Jasper316062
Winston305691
Clay297374
Chickasaw287866
Clarke283290
Calhoun267741
Holmes262887
Smith252249
Yalobusha224347
Tallahatchie221150
Walthall211758
Greene209945
Lawrence207034
Perry201054
Amite199452
Webster196942
Noxubee179339
Montgomery172954
Jefferson Davis168342
Carroll162537
Tunica154235
Benton143035
Kemper138840
Choctaw128826
Claiborne127134
Humphreys127038
Franklin116928
Quitman104227
Wilkinson102036
Jefferson91533
Sharkey63020
Issaquena1937
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 790648

Reported Deaths: 14025
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1117431765
Mobile709021237
Madison50032633
Shelby36350315
Baldwin36278495
Tuscaloosa34034548
Montgomery33229678
Lee22712220
Calhoun21297410
Morgan19852335
Etowah19341462
Marshall17716274
Houston16862386
St. Clair15479305
Cullman14659258
Limestone14609188
Elmore14507264
Lauderdale13557281
Talladega13015236
DeKalb12214237
Walker10604330
Blount9735157
Autauga9691137
Jackson9400158
Coffee8934175
Dale8631173
Colbert8545184
Tallapoosa6688181
Escambia6599121
Covington6466167
Chilton6395144
Russell608755
Franklin5805101
Chambers5425134
Marion4818120
Dallas4713189
Clarke464079
Pike463297
Geneva4433117
Winston427395
Lawrence4124108
Bibb410281
Barbour347470
Marengo326485
Monroe320253
Butler318490
Randolph306656
Pickens306474
Henry302658
Hale293085
Cherokee290855
Fayette280373
Washington245548
Crenshaw238770
Cleburne236751
Clay229265
Macon220658
Lamar200443
Conecuh182046
Coosa170835
Lowndes170858
Wilcox159736
Bullock149543
Perry136537
Sumter124736
Greene121443
Choctaw73427
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Partly Cloudy
77° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 79°
Columbus
Partly Cloudy
80° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 83°
Oxford
Partly Cloudy
77° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 79°
Starkville
Partly Cloudy
75° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 75°
Little bits and pieces of low pressure move back into our area over the next several days. This will bring back into our weather forecast some more chances for some isolated to scattered showers and thunderstorms.
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather