Obama hits out at Senators after failed gun control motion
The White House accused U.S. senators of “cowardice” on Tuesday (June 21, 2016) and said they failed the American people by not advancing any gun control measures after the nation’s largest mass shooting in Orlando, Florida, last week.
“Gun violence requires more than moments of silence,” U.S. President Barack Obama said on Twitter. “It requires action. In failing that test, the Senate failed the American people.”
White House spokesman Josh Earnest appeared on morning television news shows excoriating the U.S. Senate for rejecting on Monday four gun bills aimed at keeping firearms away from people with suspected ties to militants.
“This is the very textbook definition of cowardice — to talk tough in the hopes that nobody’s going to actually ask you to do something,” Earnest told reporters. Republicans were asked to do something… they were asked to vote on a common sense proposal that would make our community safer and they abdicated that responsibility.”
After Monday’s votes, the Senate turned away from gun control, at least temporarily, to debate a different tactic for battling domestic attacks that could be inspired by Islamic State and other foreign militant groups.
Senators were aiming to vote by Wednesday (June 22) on legislation by Senator John McCain of Arizona expanding the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s ability to conduct secret surveillance in counterterrorism investigations.
The NRA (National Rifle Association has worked hard to defeat gun control measures, including attempts in the wake of mass shootings such as the one in Orlando.
Earnest said the bills put forth for votes on Monday (June 20) evening should have drawn strong bipartisan support aimed at shoring up the country’s defenses by keeping firearms away from people on terrorism watch lists.
The gun control measures lost in largely party-line votes that showed the political power in Congress of gun rights defenders and the NRA.
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