Sen. Elizabeth Warren vowed to do everything within her executive power to usher in new gun controls if elected president, in the wake of shootings in Texas and Ohio over the weekend that left at least 29 people dead and dozens more injured.
“I will do everything I can by executive order, but I will also lead on the argument of getting rid of the filibuster so that by a majority we can do what the American people have sent us there to do,” the Massachusetts Democrat and 2020 presidential candidate said on MSNBC. “The filibuster is blocking action on guns.”
“On the first day that I’m president, the Republicans want to try to block things, then we get rid of the filibuster and we go with a majority vote,” she said.
The Democratic-controlled House passed several pieces of gun control legislation earlier this year, including provisions to tighten gun-purchase background checks, but the bills aren’t expected to go anywhere in the GOP-controlled Senate.
After the Newtown school shooting in 2012, a similar background check bill won majority support in the U.S. Senate, then controlled by Democrats, but fell short of the 60 votes needed to thwart a potential filibuster.
“One of the things we know that we could do is we could step up more on background checks, for example. We could do more on funding for research into gun violence,” Ms. Warren said. “There are places where we could do more, and I will use everything possible that is available to the president of the United States to lead on gun safety.”
“If I lead from the White House, if we also at the same time have a big push nationally, I think that’s how we get Congress to act — that’s how we get some real accountability,” she said.
Like other Democrats, Ms. Warren also urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to call senators back from their August break to vote on the House-passed gun bills.
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