Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) will meet this week with the families who lost relatives in the Newtown, Conn., shooting.
The meeting will be Thursday, during the group’s most recent swing through Washington, D.C.
“Speaker Boehner’s heart goes out to the victims of this senseless tragedy, and their families,” Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said. “He wants to hear their stories and talk about ways to reduce the culture of violence in our country.”
The Republican House hasn’t attempted to tighten gun laws in the wake of the shooting — and has shown little appetite to do so. GOP leadership has prepared some options if the Senate passed tighter gun restrictions, but a move to tighten background checks on commercial gun sales failed in March.
House Republicans have privately considered renewing the current background check system, promoting legislation to deal with violence in society. They would also consider moving a Republican gun control bill drafted by Sens. Ted Cruz (Texas) and Chuck Grassley (Iowa).
Families of several Sandy Hook shooting victims arrive on Capitol Hill this week to try and resurrect the gun control debate.
A nonprofit group called Sandy Hook Promise, which was created in the wake of the shootings is intended to spark a legislative dialogue and action on guns, is bringing to the Hill members of seven families of Sandy Hook Elementary School victims, a spokeswoman confirmed to POLITICO.
The families will meet with members of both the House and the Senate and will be pushing the background check legislation and the House companion bill. The families will also begin discussions with lawmakers on mental health legislation.
The nonprofit will host Nelba Marquez-Greene, Neil Heslin, Nicole Hockley, Terri and Matthew Rousseau, Bill Sherlach, David and Francine Wheeler, and Mark Barden, whose family was the subject of a long profile in The Washington Post on Sunday.
The return to Washington by the families will occur on Tuesday and Wednesday and was first reported by The Associated Press.
The Capitol Hill lobbying comes the same week as the six-month anniversary of the mass shooting. Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy, a Democrat, will lead a moment of silence for victims in Newtown on Friday at 9:30 a.m., which will kick off a national bus tour by Mayors Against Illegal Guns to lobby members of Congress to support background checks.
The Senate’s background check legislation authored by Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) failed in April, but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has indicated he plans to huddle with Manchin and Vice President Joe Biden on ways to revive the legislation.
- Boehner, Cantor to meet with families of Newtown victims (thehill.com)
- Boehner, Cantor to meet with Newtown families (politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com)
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