Lawmakers in Washington will fight over gun control and Zika funding in the final week before the two-month summer recess commences.
House Speaker Paul Ryan is under pressure from House Democrats to secure a control vote, particularly after the spate of gun violence in Louisiana, Minnesota and Texas last week. However, the House Freedom Caucus’s opposition to the anti-terrorism package, which included modest gun control provisions, derailed the bill last week. Ryan’s hands are tied by conservatives.
The Freedom Caucus argues that the proposed measure infringes on due process rights and does not do enough to improve national security. The measure would require the Justice Department to prove probable cause within three days that a gun buyer is involved in terroristic activities in order to block the purchase.
GOP leaders have been meeting with conservatives, including members of the Freedom Caucus, to come to a compromise and move forward. Republicans are hopeful they can pass a bill before the two-month recess begins.
In light of the events in Dallas last Thursday, the gun control debate may transform into a debate over police and protestor safety.
Dave Reichert, an influential figure in the House for law enforcement issues, says gun control is a political matter that “will not go anywhere” and “will not go far enough to solve the problem.”
The issue of gun control in the Senate has been replaced by a fight over government spending. Spending will be the biggest item on the to-do list for Congress when the recess concludes in September. GOP leaders are also gearing up for a vote on Zika funding.