‘Be Careful What You Wish For’: Trump Blasts ‘RINO’ Sen. Cornyn Over Bipartisan Gun Safety Bill
© AP Photo / J. Scott ApplewhiteSen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., left, and Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, right, talk to reporters following a closed-door policy meeting at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, March 8, 2016. In the aftermath of recent horrific mass shootings in Uvalde, Texas and Buffalo, New York, a bipartisan group of senators, including Cornyn and Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., are holding private virtual meetings during recess to try to strike a compromise over gun safety legislation.
© AP Photo / J. Scott Applewhite
With a 64-34 vote Tuesday, the US Senate advanced a gun safety bill that includes some $11 billion for mental health services and $2 billion for community-based anti-violence efforts. It came as a product of bipartisan draft negotiations that included GOP Sen. John Cornyn, who as a result, was formally rebuked by the Republican Party of Texas.
Former US President Donald Trump laid into Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) in a Wednesday social media post that dubbed the Texan a ‘Republican in Name Only’ (RINO) for his role in bipartisan draft negotiations that brought about the framework for S.1738, the ‘Safer Communities Act.’
The proposed legislation received support from 14 GOP senators, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). A final vote is scheduled for Thursday.
“The deal on ‘Gun Control’ currently being structured and pushed in the Senate by the Radical Left Democrats, with the help of Mitch McConnell, RINO Senator John Cornyn of Texas, and others, will go down in history as the first step in the movement to TAKE YOUR GUNS AWAY. Republicans, be careful what you wish for!!!” the US president said in a June 22 post to Truth Social.
Speaking from the Senate floor on Wednesday, Cornyn said a collection of 10 Republicans and 10 Democrats from the upper legislative chamber first agreed upon a “set of principles” to be used as a framework for later negotiations conducted by himself and Sens. Chris Murphy (D-CT), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), and Thom Tillis (R-NC).
“I believe that as the senators see the text that supports those principles, they will see we’ve tried our best to be true to what those agreed principles should be,” Cornyn said.
The loose framework included increased funding for mental health and school safety in the wake of the recent Uvalde school shooting in Texas, where 19 elementary school students and two teachers were slain by an 18-year-old gunman. US senators in the broader negotiations also called for enhanced background checks for those aged 18 to 21 years old.
The 80-page bill received enough bipartisan support to potentially overcome the 60-vote filibuster within two hours of its introduction. McConnell insisted the bill was a “common sense package of popular steps” to better address the country’s issue with gun violence.
At the same time, the proposed legislation appears to be opposed by a majority of GOP senators, the National Rifle Association, and the Republican convention of Cornyn’s home state, which formally rebuked a number of US lawmakers for their negotiations.
The move came as part of a 40-page party platform approved at the Texas Republican Party’s convention in Houston on Saturday, and included rebukes of Cornyn, Tillis, and Sens. Roy Blunt (R-MO), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Susan Collins (R-ME), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Rob Portman (R-OH), Mitt Romney (R-UT), and Pat Toomey (R-PA).
Additionally, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) have opposed the bill, as well as the House Freedom Caucus.
The latter has called attention to the bill’s incentives for the implementation of “red flag” laws that can temporarily block gun sales to individuals deemed to be a danger to themselves or others.
“Red flag laws permit the preemptive seizure of firearms from Americans without due process by allowing any person to report a gunowner to law enforcement and petition for the confiscation of that individual’s firearms, even before the gunowner has an opportunity to defend themselves,” the group said in a Tuesday statement.