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: 248189

Reported Deaths: 5411
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto16841171
Hinds15890312
Harrison13037191
Rankin10439205
Jackson10128177
Lee8721135
Madison8071160
Jones6166108
Forrest5870117
Lauderdale5724177
Lowndes5238109
Lafayette486192
Lamar475363
Washington4734122
Bolivar3941106
Oktibbeha388179
Panola360475
Pontotoc358752
Monroe3487103
Warren337895
Union337457
Marshall336065
Neshoba3325150
Pearl River319492
Leflore2980104
Lincoln293385
Sunflower277569
Tate266659
Alcorn260651
Itawamba258858
Pike258176
Hancock253557
Prentiss242450
Scott241043
Yazoo237754
Copiah237449
Tippah236246
Simpson232367
Leake227864
Coahoma223154
Grenada215770
Covington208871
Marion206171
Adams201666
Winston198061
George197438
Wayne196130
Attala191658
Newton186542
Chickasaw181243
Tishomingo179659
Holmes167867
Jasper165134
Clay156732
Stone140218
Tallahatchie138234
Clarke136460
Calhoun133321
Smith118823
Yalobusha113834
Walthall111136
Noxubee109622
Greene108929
Montgomery108134
Carroll103721
Lawrence101217
Perry99131
Amite96425
Webster90624
Claiborne85125
Tunica84521
Jefferson Davis83825
Humphreys81524
Benton80323
Kemper75720
Quitman6758
Franklin65315
Choctaw59613
Wilkinson58125
Jefferson53019
Sharkey42417
Issaquena1586
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 417528

Reported Deaths: 6030
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson61313888
Mobile29768542
Madison26637185
Tuscaloosa20580268
Montgomery18696304
Shelby18310113
Baldwin16002179
Lee12261101
Morgan12093112
Etowah11604157
Calhoun10982200
Marshall10108107
Houston8474129
Cullman7960104
Limestone790174
Elmore7723101
DeKalb764697
St. Clair7460120
Lauderdale745183
Talladega6102108
Walker5852174
Jackson574441
Blount526483
Colbert525670
Autauga510355
Coffee434256
Dale391081
Franklin363445
Chilton333565
Covington326167
Russell323810
Escambia312442
Dallas300296
Clarke278233
Chambers277869
Tallapoosa2599107
Pike245829
Marion240549
Lawrence240447
Winston223835
Bibb213047
Geneva197431
Marengo197329
Pickens195231
Hale173742
Barbour171236
Butler167958
Fayette166026
Cherokee159630
Henry151119
Monroe144417
Randolph138535
Washington136526
Clay125246
Crenshaw118044
Lamar116619
Cleburne116023
Macon113335
Lowndes108735
Wilcox101221
Bullock98128
Perry95419
Conecuh92920
Sumter88726
Greene75323
Coosa60414
Choctaw51224
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Cloudy
43° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 37°
Columbus
Partly Cloudy
45° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 39°
Oxford
Cloudy
39° wxIcon
Hi: 45° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 34°
Starkville
Partly Cloudy
45° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 41°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather