The House will vote on a counterterrorism package that will include a provision to prevent suspected terrorists from buying guns, Speaker Paul D. Ryan told Republicans on a conference call Thursday, according to a source on the call.
The House, when it returns next week from its July Fourth recess, will also vote on a mental health bill , sponsored by Pennsylvania GOP Rep. Tim Murphy, Ryan told his House colleagues.
Republicans believe terrorism and mental illness have been leading causes of most mass shootings.
Ryan’s decision comes a week after Democrats disrupted House activities with a nearly 26-hour sit-in demanding action on gun control. It’s unclear whether Ryan’s proposal would include the broad “no fly, no buy” proposal Democrats have supported or a more limited version endorsed by the National Rifle Association.
Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s office said Ryan may well offer the NRA-backed version, which puts the burden on the government to prove that someone on a terror watch list should not have a gun.
“House Democrats will keep up our efforts to push for the majority to allow a vote on gun violence legislation, but bringing up a bill authored by the NRA just isn’t going to cut it,” said Drew Hammill, a spokesman for Pelosi.
The NRA-blessed version failed to secure enough votes in the Senate last week, but so did a Democrat-supported measure that banned sales to suspected terrorists unless they could prove they didn’t belong on the watch list.
On the call, Ryan said it was common sense that suspects on terror watch lists should not be able to buy guns, but the Wisconsin Republican wants to be sure that any provision protects due process for people who may mistakenly be added to such lists.
Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer office said the Democratic caucus was looking forward to reviewing Ryan’s proposal.
“We will also be urging the Speaker to allow for an open process that provides House Democrats with a chance to file amendments and have a vote on the bipartisan ‘No Fly, No Buy’ bill,” said Mariel Saez, a spokeswoman for Hoyer said.
With Democrats vowing to continue their protests , House GOP leaders are considering their options on how to proceed, Ryan said on the phone call.
Ryan told his colleagues that they are getting recommendations from the sergeant-at-arms and the parliamentarians, and that House Republicans will take any actions they deem necessary, according to the source on the call.
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