Sen. Bob Casey cites Tree of Life massacre as he calls for gun bills vote
Calling gun violence a uniquely American problem and citing last year’s massacre of worshippers inside a Pittsburgh synagogue, U.S. Bob Casey, D-Scranton, took to the floor of the Senate in an emotional 25 minute speech, imploring Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to call for a vote on a federal gun background check bill that passed the House 200 days ago.
Casey joined other Senate Democrats who held the floor late into the night Tuesday in an effort to highlight calls for “commonsense gun reforms.”
While pressure for action on gun violence appeared to be building after mass shootings in Texas and Ohio last month, McConnell has said he will not bring a bill to the floor for a vote without President Donald Trump’s support.
Reading off the names of those murdered at Tree of Life and holding up pictures of children murdered six years earlier in a mass shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, Casey said it is past time for action on bills calling for expanded background checks and extreme risk protection orders.
“Why should we wait for the president to give us the high sign about what he will sign into law? This chamber should not wait for any other official. We should debate and vote and see where things are. The American people will sort it out after we vote, and they will know who is on the record voting which way,” Casey said.
The renewed push for expanded federal background checks comes as lawmakers in Harrisburg weigh a package of proposals to increase gun regulations in Pennsylvania.
Deb Erdley is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Deb at 724-850-1209, [email protected] or via Twitter .