The Senate is not in session this week during the Memorial Day holiday period, but lawmakers plan to meet remotely. Republican Senator John Cornyn told reporters in his hometown of Texas on Monday that the group of senators will meet on Zoom Tuesday “to try and see if we can agree on a basic framework on how to move forward.”
“I mentioned that access to mental health treatment and diagnosis is critical,” Cornyn said, adding that Covid-19 has isolated many young people during an “important period of social evolution.”
He also said background checks should be a national conversation too. Cornyn noted “other potential limitations under federal law on the type of firearms you can buy, own and maintain, if you have a criminal or mental health record,” and said, “We’ll look at all of that.”
A cry after a fatal shooting
Most legislation requires 60 votes to overcome the blockage in the Senate. As a result, Senate Democrats, who control just 50 seats, would need at least 10 Republicans to pass any kind of gun-related measure.
But lawmakers are under intense pressure to take action in the wake of an elementary school shooting, which shocked the nation and led to a massive public outcry.
A gunman shot 19 children and two adults at Robb Primary School in Ovaldi on May 24. The horrific event is the deadliest school shooting since the Sandy Hook massacre in Connecticut in 2012.
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have expressed optimism that there may be an opportunity to find common ground, but it is not yet clear whether there will be a political solution that Democrats and Republicans can agree on given widespread opposition from many within the Republican Party to toughening it. gun control.
In the negotiations, Cornyn said, he would “try to bend forward and meet my colleagues across the aisle halfway.”
“The only thing I hope won’t happen is that the different sides are sort of going back to the usual talking points,” he added. “I hope we try to look clearly at what happened, and ask this question – what can we do to fix this problem? And if we can’t fix it, what can we do to improve it?”
CNN’s Eric Levinson contributed to this report.