House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) urged Congress to take up gun control legislation in the wake of the recent mass shooting in San Bernardino, California.
“We’ve had far too many moments of silence on the floor of the House, and while it is right to respectfully acknowledge the losses, we can no longer remain silent. What gives us the right to hold moments of silence when we do nothing to act upon the cause of the grief?” she said at a press conference on Capitol Hill.
She continued, “for a while now, we’ve been asking for the Congress to pass the bipartisan King-Thompson background check bill. We’ve been asking the speaker to create a select committee on gun violence.” Pelosi was referencing H.R.1217, a bill introduced by Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) in March that would direct funds to bolster the background check system for gun purchases. Soon after it was introduced, the bill was referred to a House Judiciary subcommittee.
On the other side of the aisle, Republicans have responded to recent shootings by calling for the passage of a mental health reform bill, currently working its way through committee. Just a few hours before Pelosi’s press conference, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) called for Congress to take up the mental health bill.