House Republicans on gun compromise: ‘It’s not a foregone conclusion’

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Alex Pappas
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      Alex Pappas

      Alex Pappas is a Washington D.C.-based political reporter for The Daily Caller. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and the Mobile Press-Register. Pappas is a graduate of The University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., where he was editor-in-chief of The Sewanee Purple. While in college, he did internships at NBC's Meet the Press and the White House. He grew up in Mobile, Ala., where he graduated from St. Paul's Episcopal School. He and his wife live on Capitol Hill.

WASHINGTON — Does the Republican-controlled House of Representatives have any appetite whatsoever for the new gun control legislation moving through the Senate?

“It’s not a foregone conclusion that that bill is going to become law,” Chief Deputy Whip Peter Roskam said in response to a question from The Daily Caller during a conference call with several reporters Thursday.

Roskam, an Illinois Republican, was referring to the compromise proposal offered Wednesday by Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia that observers say is the best hope for a gun control package.

It requires background checks for all commercial transactions, including checks for those who buy firearms at gun shows and online.

But despite the progress being made in the Senate on the issue, House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy told TheDC that no matter what comes out of the Senate, the House isn’t going to rush to pass any new gun laws.

“I know the Senate can do their work, but the one thing about the House is, we believe in regular order,” he said.

Elaborating, McCarthy explained that, “if something comes out of the Senate, it would go to committee” in the House, where representatives could add “their view and their research.”

McCarthy didn’t comment specifically on the legislation, but seemed skeptical of it when he said legislators should ask if these proposed gun laws “do anything to stop these tragic situations.”

“Our committees have been looking at these situations and the best way to address it,” McCarthy said.

Roskam emphasized that “the House is very interested in trying to make sure that violence of the type we have seen too much of recently doesn’t continue as an epidemic.”

At the same time, he said, they have to balance that “against the clearly articulated Second Amendment rights in our Bill of Rights.”

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