WASHINGTON — After the Senate failed to pass universal background checks for gun buyers Wednesday afternoon, Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that the House would push forward with its own version of the legislation.
“We’re just not taking no for an answer,” she vowed.
“We were so disappointed,” Pelosi said of Wednesday night’s vote, when the Senate failed to get the 60 votes necessary to pass an amendment proposed by Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania. The amendment was hoped to have been a compromise that would allay some Republican concerns with background checks.
Background check legislation has been introduced in the House by Democratic Rep. Mike Thompson, the head of the House Task Force on Gun Violence, and New York Republican Rep. Peter King. Thompson, appearing at a press conference with Pelosi, said they are moving forward with that legislation.
The Senate vote, he said, is “not going to slow us or deter our work … one bit.”
Background checks, he said, is something that “has wide support from the American people, and we’ll figure out how to make sure our colleagues who didn’t get that memo, get it.”
Pelosi predicted that background checks would pass in the near future, saying that public support for the effort would ultimately swamp any opposition from the National Rifle Association or Republicans.
“This is a fight we must win. It’s a matter of time,” she said. “It may be inconceivable to the NRA that this will happen, it’s inevitable to us. We have to shorten the distance and time between the inconceivable to some and the inevitable.”