Leaders debate how to handle gun control

Leaders debate how to handle gun control
Posted at 8:10 AM, Oct 09, 2017

After the mass shooting in Las Vegas, the debate on Capitol Hill about what to do about bump fire stocks -- the devices which allow semi-automatic weapons to fire at a dramatically increased speed -- will continue this week.

Top Republican leaders are pressing President Donald Trump's administration to have the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives issue a ruling to regulate these accessories to avoid having a major gun vote in Congress, but others -- especially Democrats -- argue that legislation is needed to address the issue.

A bipartisan measure in the House is likely to get additional support as many members, even some conservatives, indicate they could support a vote on guns -- something that hasn't happened on Capitol Hill in a generation.



The House is expected to approve a $29 billion disaster relief package to support victims of Hurricanes Maria, Irma and Harvey, but some conservatives are arguing that this legislation contains elements that don't qualify as emergency measures and are calling for spending cuts to offset the new federal money.

House Speaker Paul Ryan will deliver another speech Thursday at the Heritage Foundation pushing his top policy priority -- an overhaul of the tax code. Committee leaders are still working out the details on a GOP bill that they insist they can pass by the end of the year.

The Senate is out of session this week. When senators return next week, they will vote on the budget resolution that will set the stage for passing an eventual tax reform bill, which is still being negotiated.

The House is also expected to vote on a whistleblower protection bill and a measure to move forward with negotiations with the Senate on the annual defense authorization bill.

Lawmakers will watch closely for Trump's anticipated announcement that he will decertify the Iran nuclear deal, throwing next steps on the thorny issue to a reluctant and divided Congress.

The House foreign affairs committee holds a hearing Wednesday examining Iran issues and marks up an Iran sanctions enforcement bill.

Sen. Chris Coons will do a news conference call Tuesday morning to discuss the issue, as he supported the Obama administration's negotiated agreement.

With senators out of town, it's unclear how Republicans in the chamber will react -- if at all -- to Trump's public feud with Sen. Bob Corker, a Tennessee Republican, which played out Sunday. Trump tweeted that Corker "begged" for his endorsement and that he is to blame for what he described as the "horrendous Iran deal." Corker responded by tweeting, "the White House has become an adult day care center. Someone obviously missed their shift this morning."

The House Homeland Security Committee's Subcommittee on Oversight and Management Efficiency will hold a hearing Thursday on assessing North Korea's risk to the US, be it a serious danger or empty threat.

The House intelligence committee's Russia investigation continues with a steady stream of witnesses, and former Obama Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Powers is expected to appear in a classified session Friday, according to a source familiar with the matter.