Senators expressed optimism about a potential deal on gun safety but measures called for by President Joe Biden appear to be off the table, The Washington Post reports.
Senators are zeroing in on a bill that would encourage states to create red-flag laws, which allow authorities to seize guns from people deemed a threat, but would not create a national red-flag law.
The bill would also likely include Republican-favored measures targeting mental health and school safety.
“It’s really tough sledding. But I’ve never been part of conversations that are this serious and this thoughtful before, and I know all the Republicans and Democrats who are at the table are there with total sincerity to get an agreement,” said Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy.
Biden wish list off the table:
Biden after the Uvalde school shooting called on Congress to pass an assault weapons ban or at least raise the age to buy an assault weapon from 18 to 21. He also called to expand background checks.
None of the measures appear likely to be included in the Senate bill.
But Senate negotiators hope the outrage over the latest string of mass shootings will be enough to get a deal done even if it excludes key measures.
“I think we need to act, and we need to act relatively quickly,” Texas Sen. John Cornyn told the Post. “We could lose this opportunity to do what we could to save lives, which to me is what this is all about.”
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who has been burned in the past on failed gun legislation, gave the bipartisan group until the end of the week to reach a deal.
“He still feels like we need to come to an agreement by the end of this week,” Murphy said, adding, “I think that’s entirely possible.”
Republicans also confirmed the timeline, taking a shot at Schumer.
“We’re aware of the artificial timeline Senator Schumer has created,” a GOP aide told the Post.