August recess is just about over and Congress will go back to Washington after three mass shootings across the U.S. Elected officials representing El Paso and the state of Texas have plans to tackle the varied issues.
“We’re going to be marking up three gun violence legislation bills. One will be a red flag law, the other will be a ban on high capacity magazines, and the third will be a prohibition of gun sales to people who have been convicted of misdemeanor hate crimes,” said Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-Texas).
All this will happen in their first week back, according to Escobar who forms part of the dominating Democrats in the House of Representatives.
That’s only half of Congress.
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) explained a different approach this week in Odessa when it comes to what Republicans in the Senate may do to tackle other root causes.
“We need to do everything we can to try to provide people who are in mental health crisis, for example, access to help that might prevent them from being a danger to themselves and others,” Cornyn said.
There’s at least one thing both Escobar and Cornyn agreed on: tighter control on who can buy firearms to begin with.
“To improve the background check system to make sure people don’t fall through the holes and they can’t lie, and then buy firearms for which they are disqualified already by law from purchasing,” Cornyn said.
Surface agreement may not mean new laws. Escobar said there is no path forward without bipartisan compromise. If anything is to be done in the interest of the country she said they have to work together.
“I will continue to reach out to anyone who is interested in compromise, but the minute that they tell me that it’s a take it or leave it or they’re uninterested in bringing something to the floor it’s wasted time,” Escobar said.
Congress is back in session on Monday morning.