Cornyn Pitching Mental Health as Response to Gun Violence (Video)

Cornyn is taking the reins on a Republican response to mass shootings. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

While the White House, frustrated with congressional inaction, weighs its own crackdown on guns , the Senate's No. 2 Republican is looking to address the country's cycle of mass killings with mental health legislation that includes a stronger background check system.  

Texas Sen. John Cornyn, the majority whip, believes the mental health angle is an opportunity for consensus. Other Republicans have signaled similar sentiment, but Cornyn is the most prominent of them. “This legislation is a product of my frustration with legislation that won’t actually solve any problems,” Cornyn told CQ Roll Call. “In other words, I look at all of the legislation that gets introduced and I wonder: 'OK, which of these incidents might have been prevented if this legislation had been law?' And there isn’t any.”  

Special Prosecutor for Clinton Emails Would Be a Waste of Money, Leahy Says

Leahy, right, said he had faith in Lynch's ability to handle the Clinton email matter. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democratic Sen. Patrick J. Leahy on Tuesday compared a Republican request for a special counsel to probe the email server used by former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to something from "Alice in Wonderland."  

"Let's not spend millions of dollars more in taxpayers' money. I have complete faith in the integrity of the Attorney General and the director of the FBI," the Vermont Democrat told CQ Roll Call in a brief interview. "They seem to just want to spend millions and millions and millions of dollars in taxpayer money to go after her. These are the same people who refused to pass money to increase security in our embassies. Now they want to spend millions of dollars talking about Benghazi."  

Cornyn: DOJ Should Assign Special Counsel to Clinton Emails

The No. 2 Republican in the Senate wants a special prosecutor to investigate Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton's use of a private email server while secretary of State.  

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, a senior member of the Judiciary Committee, entered the fray over the emails Tuesday in a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch.  

Senate GOP Plans Abortion Debate After More Iran Deal Votes

Cornyn anticipates anti-abortion legislation will follow votes on the Iran deal. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senators will have another chance to break a filibuster and disapprove of the Iran deal Tuesday evening — but there's no expectation the dynamic will change.  

Republicans expect to follow the next round of Iran votes with anti-abortion legislation, though Majority Whip John Cornyn of Texas said last week GOP senators had not yet decided which bills to bring up.  

Cornyn Rejects House Freedom Caucus Shutdown Threat Over Planned Parenthood

Cornyn says Republicans aren't going to head into a government shutdown over Planned Parenthood, despite a threat from the House Freedom Caucus. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The No. 2 Senate Republican instantly dismissed the fresh shutdown threat from members of the House Freedom Caucus, who declared they wouldn't vote for any spending bill keeping the government open if it funds Planned Parenthood.  

"We're not going to engage in a shutdown scenario," said Majority Whip John Cornyn of Texas. "That will set the pro-life movement back, not advance it. We've got better ideas to actually advance the pro-life agenda." President Barack Obama has threatened to veto any bill that eliminates funding for Planned Parenthood. Republicans have been seeking to defund the group for years, but many have dug in after the release of a series of videos showing senior Planned Parenthood officials discussing the sale of body parts from aborted fetuses.