Senate Set to Leave Washington for 10-Day Recess Without Action on Gun Violence

The U.S. Senate is set to adjourn Thursday afternoon for a 10-day recess without taking any concrete steps to address the nation’s deadly epidemic of gun violence, following a pattern of inaction that has prevailed in the decade since the worst school shooting in the nation’s history in Newtown, Connecticut.

In the aftermath of the second-deadliest school shooting on record — the massacre of 19 children and two adults at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas earlier this week — there is little hope that Congress will move decisively to alter the country’s lax gun lawsAs Republicans beholdenThe National Rifle Association and Democrats are committed to the legislative filibusterContinue to block progress.

“Enough is enough. We must abolish the filibuster and pass gun safety legislation NOW,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) wroteFollow us on Twitter Wednesday. “No one in America needs an AR-15. How many more children, mothers, and fathers need to be murdered in cold blood before the Senate has the guts to ban assault weapons and take on the NRA?”

Democratic leaders in the upper chamber have given Sen. Chris Murphy (a Connecticut Democrat and outspoken advocate of gun-safety measures) the task of seeking bipartisan compromise. This approach has been unsuccessful for years despite the fact that it has been tried many times. thousandsNumerous mass shootings have taken place in the U.S. since 2012’s Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre.

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), one of the Senate’s most vocal filibuster defenders, is also holding talksOn gun legislation, we are partnering with Republicans. Democrats will need to find at most 10 Republican votes in order to advance a bill, even with the filibuster intact.

In a video update posted to social media late Wednesday, Murphy — who represented Sandy Hook’s district in the House at the time of the 2012 shooting — said he is unwilling to “accept that the Senate is going to do nothing in the face of this horrific slaughter.”

In this year’s first year, there were 27 school shootingsThe United States.

“I don’t accept the status quo,” said Murphy. “While I’m sober-minded about our chances of getting 60 votes in the Senate, I can tell you that today, we made progress. I spent all day talking to every single Republican and every single Democrat that was willing to enter into a discussion about how we change our gun laws.”

“My hope is that over the course of the week and next week, we’re going to have a group of Republicans and Democrats in the Senate talking about how we can find common ground,” Murphy added, mentioning “limited but significant improvements to our background check system” and so-called “red flag laws” as potential areas of compromise.

There’s not yet any indication that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) intends to cancel the chamber’s Memorial Day recess in an effort to expedite progress.

In a floor speech on Wednesday, Schumer slammed the GOP’s “obeisance to the NRA” and persistent refusal to support even “the most simple, sensitive, positive, and popular gun legislation.” On Friday, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), former President Donald Trump, and other prominent Republicans are expected to speak at the NRA’s annual gathering in Houston.

“My Republican colleagues can work with us now,” the Democratic leader said. “I know this is a slim prospect. Very slim. All too slim. We’ve been burnt so many times before. But this is so important.”

Later Wednesday, Schumer vowed that the upper chamber is ultimately “going to vote on gun legislation” whether or not Republicans cooperate.

A petition launched by MoveOn in the wake of the Uvalde massacre implores Schumer to “cancel recess, stay in D.C., hold votes, and deliver” legislative action on gun safety, a demand that came as students across the U.S. planned walkoutsOther mobilizations that aim to increase pressure on legislators

“Congress can act quickly — both houses passed new laws regarding security for Supreme Court justices after the leaked draft showing that right-wing justices are prepared to overturn Roe v. Wade,” reads the petition, which has garnered more than 72,600 signatures. “Our senators and representatives took action on that measure within 24 hours.”

“But the Senate isn’t even planning a vote before recess following the deadliest school shooting in a decade, which came on the heels of mass murders in Buffalo, New York, and Laguna Hills, California within the past ten days,” the petition continues. “Democrats in the House already passed critical gun violence prevention legislation earlier this Congress — we need Senate action to send these bills to the president.”