Harlem Rep. Espaillat And Others Urge McConnell To Hold Gun Violence Prevention Vote

August 7, 2019

Today Rep. Adriano Espaillat (pictured) joined Gun Violence Prevention Task Force Chairman Mike Thompson and 213 Members of the House Democratic Caucus in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

The letter was demanding that Senate Majority McConnell immediately call the Senate back into session to pass H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act, and H.R. 1112, the Enhanced Background Checks Act. Both these bipartisan bills were passed by the House in February of this year and have been blocked for a vote by McConnell for more than 160 days.

A copy of the letter is below; it was signed by Representatives Alma S. Adams, Ph.D (NC-12), Pete Aguilar (CA-31), Cynthia Axne (IA-03), Nanette Barragan (CA-44), 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-13), Anthony Brown (MD-04), Julia Brownley (CA-26), Cheri Bustos (IL-17), G.K. Butterfield (NC-01), Salud Carbajal (CA-24), Tony Cárdenas (CA-29), Andre Carson (IN-07), Matt Cartwright (PA-17), Ed Case (HI-01), Sean Casten (IL-06), Kathy Castor (FL-14), Judy Chu (CA-27), David Cicilline (RI-01), Gil Cisneros, Jr. (CA-39), Katherine M. Clark (MA-05), Yvette Clarke (NY-09), Lacy Clay (MO-01), Emanuel Cleaver (MO-05), Steve Cohen (TN-09), Jim Cooper (TN-05), Gerald Connolly (VA-11), J. Luis Correa (CA-46), Jim Costa (CA-16), Joe Courtney (CT-02), TJ Cox (CA-21), Angie Craig (MN-02), Charlie Crist (FL-13), Jason Crow (CO-06), Henry Cuellar (TX-28), Joe Cunningham (SC-01), Sharice L. Davids (KS-03), Danny K Davis (IL-07), Susan Davis (CA-53), Madelaine Dean (PA-04), Peter DeFazio (OR-04), Diana DeGette (CO-01), Rosa DeLauro (CT-03), Suzan DelBene (WA-01), Antonio Delgado (NY-19), Val Demmings (FL-10), Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11), Ted Deutch (FL-22), Debbie Dingell (MI-12), Mike Doyle (PA-14), Eliot Engel (NY-16), Veronica Escobar (TX-16), Anna Eshoo (CA-18), Adriano Espaillat (NY-13), Dwight Evans (PA-03), Abby Finkenauer (IA-01), Lizzie Fletcher (TX-07), Bill Foster (IL-11), Lois Frankel (FL-22), Marcia Fudge (OH-11), Ruben Gallego (AZ-07), John Garamendi (CA-03), Jesus G. “Chuy” García (IL-04), Sylvia Garcia (TX-29), Jimmy Gomez (CA-34), Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15), Josh Gottheimer (NJ-05), Al Green (TX-09), Debra Haaland (NM-01), Josh Harder (CA-10), Alcee Hastings (FL-20), Jahana Hayes (CT-05), Denny Heck (WA-10), Clay Higgins (NY-26), Katie Hill (CA-25), Jim Himes (CT-04), Steven Horsford (NV-04), Chrissy Houlahan (PA-06), Jared Huffman (CA-02), Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18), Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Hakeem Jeffries (NY-08), Hank Johnson, (GA-04), Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), William R. Keating (MA-09), Robin Kelly (IL-02), Joe Kennedy (MA-04), Ro Khanna (CA-17), Dan Kildee (MI-05), Derek Kilmer (WA-06), Andy Kim (NJ-03), Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-02), Raja Krishnamoorthi (IL-08), Ann McLane Kuster (NH-02), Conor Lamb (PA-17), Jim Langevin (RI-02), Rick Larsen (WA-02), John Larson (CT-01), Brenda Lawrence (MI-14), Al Lawson (FL-05), Barbara Lee (CA-13), Susie Lee (NV-03), Andy Levin (MI-09), Mike Levin (CA-49), John Lewis (GA-05), Ted Lieu (CA-33), Daniel W. Lipinski (IL-03), David Loebsack (IA-02), Zoe Lofgren (CA-19), Alan Lowenthal (CA-47), Nita Lowey (NY-17), Ben Ray Luján (NM-03), Elaine Luria (VA-02), Stephen Lynch (MA-08), Tom Malinowski (NJ-07), Carolyn B. Maloney NY-12), Sean P. Maloney (NY-18), Doris Matsui (CA-06), Lucy McBath (GA-06), Betty McCollum (MN-04), Donald McEachin (VA-04), James P. McGovern (MA-02), Jerry McNerney (CA-09), Gregory Meeks (NY-05), 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), Richard Neal (MA-01), Joe Neguse (CO-02), Donald Norcross (NJ-01), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC-AL), Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14), Ilhan Omar (MN-05), Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06), Jimmy Panetta (CA-20), Chris Pappas (NH-01), Bill Pascrell (NJ-09), Donald Payne, Jr. (NJ-10), Earl Perlmutter (CO-07), Scott Peters (CA-52), Dean Phillips (MN-03), Chellie Pingree (ME-01), Stacey E. Plaskett (VI-AL), Mark Pocan (WI-02), 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), C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (MD-02), Bobby Rush (IL-01), Tim Ryan (OH-13), Linda Sanchez (CA-38), John p. Sarbanes (MD-03), Mary Gay Scanlon (PA-05), Janice Schakowsky (IL-09), Adam Schiff (CA-28), Bradley S. Schneider (IL-10), Kurt Schrader (OR-05), Kim Schrier, M.D. (WA-08), David Scott (GA-13), Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03), Jose Serrano (NY-15), Terri Sewell (AL-07), Donna Shalala (FL-27), Mikie Sherill (NJ-11), Brad Sherman, (CA-30), Albio Sires (NY-08), Elissa Slotkin (MI-08), Adam Smith (WA-09), Darren Soto (FL-09), Abigail Davis Spanberger (VA-07), Jackie Speier (CA-14), Greg Stanton (AZ-09), Haley Stevens (MI-11), Thomas Suozzi (NY-03), Eric Swalwell (CA-15), Mark Takano (CA-41), Bennie Thompson (MS-02), Dina Titus (NV-01), Rashida Tlaib (MI-13), Paul Tonko (NY-20), Norma Torres (CA-35), Lori Trahan (MA-03), David Trone (MD-06), Lauren Underwood (IL-14), Juan Vargas, (CA-51), Marc Veasey (TX-33), Filemon Vela (TX-34), Nydia Velazquez (NY-07), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23), Maxine Waters (CA-43), Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), Jennifer Wexton (VA-10), Susan Wild (PA-07), Frederica Wilson (FL-24), and John Yarmuth (KY-03)

Here’s the letter:

The Honorable Mitch McConnell
Majority Leader
United States Senate
The Capitol, S-230
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Leader McConnell:

We strongly urge you to take immediate action to call the Senate back into session to pass H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act and H.R 1112, the Enhanced Background Checks Act.

In February, the new Democratic House Majority took swift action to pass these bipartisan bills which not only save lives, but also has the support of more than 90 percent of the American people. Since that time, you have allowed more than 150 days to pass and countless lives have been lost including those most recently lost in Gilroy, California, El Paso, Texas, Dayton, Ohio, Chicago, Illinois and the many others who will never make the headlines.

This inaction must stop. We know background checks save lives. Every day background checks stop more than 170 felons and 50 domestic abusers from getting a gun. Any delay to pass commonsense gun violence prevention legislation only increases the chances that more innocent people in America may suffer from the tragic and needless loss caused by gun violence.

Again, we urge you to follow the leadership of the House Democratic Majority and immediately come back into session to pass H.R 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act and H.R. 1112, the Enhanced Background Checks Act, that could prevent dangerous criminals from obtaining weapons and save lives.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter of great urgency to the American people.

The Gun Violence Prevention Task Force was established after the tragedy at Sandy Hook and has grown to a membership of more than 165.

First elected to Congress in 2016, Rep. Adriano Espaillat is serving his second term in Congress where he serves as a member of the influential U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee, the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and the House Small Business Committee. He serves as a Senior Whip of the House Democratic Caucus and is a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) where he also serves in a leadership role as CHC Whip. He is also chairman of the CHC Task Force for Transportation, Infrastructure and Housing. Rep. Espaillat’s Congressional District includes Harlem, East Harlem, northern Manhattan and the north-west Bronx. To find out more about Rep. Espaillat, visit online at https://espaillat.house.gov/.

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