After some optimistic signs for Democrats hoping to reach a bipartisan agreement on a gun control package, progress in the negotiations has begun to stall as lawmakers failed to reach a final agreement on the legislative text on Thursday.
Following a school shooting in Uvalde, Texas that left 19 children and two adults dead, the Senate began to make a concerted push to reach a legislative agreement that could pass the 60-vote filibuster threshold in the upper chamber.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) direct Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) to oversee negotiations with Democrats, led by Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), for a gun control package.
Despite signs that the negotiations were going well—including the unveiling on June 12 of the broad outlines of the legislative package—progress has begun to slow.
On Wednesday, Cornyn told reporters on Capitol Hill that he’s “starting to get a little concerned” as the group tries to iron out details, including funding for states that have so-called red flag laws in place.
On Thursday, when some lawmakers hoped they could reach a final text on the package, Cornyn told reporters that negotiations had fallen through and would need more time.
He suggested that the setback is because some lawmakers are unwilling to buckle down and make a final decision.
“This is the hardest part because at some point you just [have] to make a decision and when people don’t want to make a decision, you can’t accomplish a result. And that’s kind of where we are right now,” Cornyn told reporters.
“You don’t want to give politicians an unlimited amount of time to talk because they will fill the available space,” he said. “It’s fish or cut bait.”
“I told them I’m leaving but I’ll be available or by text messages,” Cornyn, walking out of Murphy’s office, added.
By Joseph Lord