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Senate negotiators working on a gun safety bill following multiple mass shootings have yet to release the text of their legislation, and a source familiar with the matter said the latest blockage was related to abortion.
The source confirmed to Fox News Digital that negotiators are stuck on including the Hyde Amendment in the bill, which would not only change the law on gun issues but also provide cash for mental health and telehealth.
The Hyde Amendment is a common statutory provision that prohibits federal money to pay for abortions, except in extreme circumstances. Politico first reported that the Hyde Amendment is now a deadlock in negotiations.
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There was optimism on Monday that negotiators could release the final text of the bill in the evening, but they were unable to do so.
A source familiar with told Fox News that there is still optimism that lawmakers could finalize the text in “the next day”, especially since there is apparently agreement on the points of departure. previous blockages. These include defining exactly who would be banned from owning a gun to close the “boyfriend loophole” on perpetrators of domestic violence, and details of how the federal government would encourage red flag laws of states.
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Talks leaders Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Chris Murphy, D-Conn., still seem interested in finding common ground and agreeing to something before the July 4 recess, which begins at the end from this week. Reuters reported on Tuesday that Cornyn said negotiators were on a “downhill course” to finalize the text. Cornyn told Reuters he believed lawmakers had reached an agreement on the Hyde Amendment.
But with the Supreme Court likely to rule in the coming weeks on a major abortion case that could overturn Roe v. Wade, the source close to the talks said the possibility of Hyde significantly handicapping the talks cannot be completely ruled out.
A group of 20 senators, including Murphy and Cornyn, agreed on the broad framework for a gun bill earlier this month following several recent mass shootings.
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These include one that was apparently race-motivated that killed 10 people in a Buffalo supermarket. Another Texas elementary school shooting that killed 19 children and two adults was the catalyst for serious discussions about gun laws.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., endorsed the talks and said he would likely support the legislation as long as it complies with the bipartisan agreement. Other Republicans outside the original group of 10 have indicated they may vote for him as well. That would provide more than enough votes to cross the Senate’s 60-vote filibuster threshold.
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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, also said her Democratic majority is likely to pass any gun safety legislation the Senate accepts. When the House would pass the bill — before or after July 4 — is unclear and will likely depend on how quickly the Senate moves.
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