WASHINGTON (NBC News) — Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., signaled Wednesday that the chamber will not quickly vote on a pair of House-passed background checks bills, giving Democrats and Republicans time to negotiate a possible but improbable bipartisan deal to address a spate of horrific mass shootings that have rocked the nation in recent weeks.
“My Republican colleagues can work with us now. I know this is a slim prospect, very slim, all too slim — we’ve been burned so many times before — but this is so important,” a skeptical Schumer said on the Senate floor, the day after 19 children and two adults were shot to death at a southern Texas elementary school.
Other Democrats, including Sens. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., want to press forward with votes on gun-safety legislation immediately, putting their incalcitrant Republican colleagues on record.
But Schumer’s move likely punts the issue until after next week’s Memorial Day congressional recess.