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Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi joined a bicameral press event with Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and House and Senate Democrats marking one year since the House of Representatives passed bipartisan background checks legislation, and called on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to finally bring the legislation to the Senate Floor for a vote. Below are the Speaker’s remarks:
Speaker Pelosi. Good afternoon everyone. As our Members gather and as our special guests gather, I want to acknowledge some of the participating groups who are here. Everytown, Moms Demand Action, March For Our Lives, American Federation of Teachers, Brady Campaign, Center for American Progress, Doctors For America, Giffords, National Education Association, NETWORK, Newtown Action Alliance, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, Sandy Hook Promise, and I know some people from Trinity College, my alma mater, are here as well.
Trinity College, there we go.
So, here we are, Democrats from both sides of the Capitol are here today to accelerate a drumbeat to end the gun violence epidemic in America!
We welcome back to the House side Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, who will be joining us momentarily, and Senator Richard Blumenthal and our former Member as well, Senator Chris Murphy.
Thank you to our leaders in the House: Chairman Mike Thompson, Chairman of the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, Chairman Jerry Nadler of the Judiciary Committee, Representative Robin Kelly, a champion on this issue and Representative Lucy McBath.
Our thanks to our VIPs, our special, very special guests, Judi and Wayne Richardson. We thank them for sharing their story – and Tatiana Washington – March For Our Lives, for their courage to turn agony into action and strength to tell, and with the strength to tell their stories.
One year ago, one year ago today, the House passed H.R. 8, commonsense, bipartisan background check legislation, and then we passed H.R. 1112, closing the Charleston loophole that enabled the hate crime at Mother Emanuel AME. But, for 365 days, Senator McConnell has let those bills gather dust on his desk over in the Senate. Every single day that he does not act, 100 Americans die from gun violence and 47 children and teens are shot or killed by gun violence.
Senator McConnell, we have a question for you? Why do you think your political survival is more important than the survival of our children? Give us a vote. Give us a vote.
As acknowledged, former Member of the House, Leader – Democratic Leader in the Senate, Chuck Schumer.
Speaker Pelosi. I’m so proud of so many Members who are here who have worked so hard on this issue. And I’ll acknowledge them.
But, not before we hear from our true VIPs who are here: Wayne and Judi Richardson will come and share their story again. How they’ve turned their agony into helping to save other lives.
Thank you, Judi. Please let us welcome them.
Speaker Pelosi. The courage – we only wish that some on the other side of the Capitol would have the courage to respond to your plea.
Now, I’m pleased to call up Tatiana Washington. Where is she, March For Our Lives? Tatiana, darling.
Speaker Pelosi. Thank you, Tatiana.
We have – this is a working forum you know. We have votes that have been called on the Floor. That’s why some of the Members walked out.
But, I do want to acknowledge some that have been here and are still here: Representative Yarmuth, Representative Langevin, Representative – I’ll just say Rep. – Suozzi, Rep. Tonko, Rep. Schakowsky, Rep. Levin, Rep. Escobar, Rep. Crist, Rep. Katherine Clark, Rep. Scanlon, Rep. Dean, Rep. Swalwell, Rep. Chu, Rep. Castor, Rep. Engel, Rep. Schneider, Rep. Mucarsel-Powell, Panetta, Rep. Jackson Lee.
Anyone else? I said your name, Mr. Suozzi.
Anyone else? And, also, just to acknowledge that we were led and joined by Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, Senator Blumenthal of Connecticut, Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut.
And now, to close for us, a Member of the House for whom we have so much respect and so much to – we owe her so much for her generosity of spirit, for her courage – Congresswoman Lucy McBath.
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