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tv   U.S. Senate Sen. Schumer Cornyn on Guns  CSPAN  September 12, 2019 7:32pm-8:01pm EDT

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what i like to do more? with the assault weapon ban? yes i would but right now we can get these done. so what do we get instead? hear this. the president took a position on the bill so that we can wait to see if we can have serious votes the president says congress will report back to me withac ideas. this is a dangerous game of whack a mole that has to stop. people are dying while people point fingers. we can point our fingers and do both. vote. we can do that today and we ask those bills be called out immediately. >> one issue in particular of importance coming upun is gun safety perk when the month of august within 60 americans were killed in mass shootings
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with the latest barrage of those mass shootings that have become all too routine in the country to say nothing of the american lives lost in our communities. it's on the minds of the american people. i was at the airport and someone i didn't know grab my hem and said senator, do something about gun violence i lost my nephew last year. it's on so many people's minds. that's why the first order of business in the senate should be to take action the house passed bipartisan background check act we must grapple with the stark reality that has become the all too routine occurrence with the ability and responsibility to do something it is the most common sense way to save american lives it is bipartisan has already passed the house and as a matter
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policy absently necessary to close the loopholes in the background checks system to make others effective. we can and should pass a very strong red flag but what good would that do if somebody would adjudicate and he could go online and that people would get felons and those who get red flags so it is critical to pass the universal background w check and to do everything we can and background checks the foundation that we start from with the safety legislation just like the shooter in
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odessa texas who failed the background check inn 2014 but can purchase a firearm through a private sale with no background check this is one of the background checks and these were never intended to save tens of thousands of lives in 1994 and of the crime subcommittee back then there was no internet and some of these gun advocates say gun shows were simply a place to show the antique guns like the behringer but now of course they have become the huge loophole that felons and other people who should not have guns used to get guns.
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we have to close these loopholes at do anything or to take away the rights of legitimate american i citizens want to bear arms. it is just closing loopholes and there are two people in washington to make this legislation to greatly reduce guns. violence leader mcconnell and president trump. leader mcconnell has the power to make sure this legislation passes this body and it is in their hands. after the shootings to call the senate back into session to respond to the crisis and he refused. may be he hoped the scenes of violence would fade in the
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public. that certainly that has not happened the democrats won't let it happen and with that increased frequency won't let it happen either. as democrats returned to washington with the frustration of americans to people north and east and south and west in urban areas and suburban areas and so keeping that in mind we will be sure the issue of gun safety remains front and center until meaningful change is achieved. by contrast leader mcconnell in his opening remarks after promising we would have a
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debate we await word from the place. one thing we do know is that the question of background checks will come down to president trump. if the president could take a position be happy to put it on the floor. so the president has a historic opportunity with the house passed background check bill so far the president has said he's got the strongest spossible bill and in future days that's why speaker pelosi and i sent president trump a letter today urging him to support the universal background check to make his position in public to lead his
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party that the nra has long prevented republicans to provide these republicans for president support. president trump, please read our letter and support the universal background check bill it is common sense and enormously popular with the public 94 percent popular even with republicans and gun owners. to save american lives i don't know that man at the airport t his name and telling me his nephew died of gun violence. the time to act is now before more lives are lost the pressure for president trump and leaderd mcconnell to act
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a senator: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from texas. mr. cornyn: madam president, i came to the floor and heard the democratic leader talking democratic leader talking >> i heard that democratic leader speaking about the terrible incidents that occurred in el paso and dayton and odessa we have had to set shooting since we've been in session in odessa and el paso and i confess these are terrible tragedies that cause us to first ask the question why and then cause us to ask the question what. what can and what should we do to try to stop incidents like these in the future i will remind the democratic leader we actually have a great
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template for bipartisan support for gun safety legislation which is a bill be sent to the president last year being the criminal background check the fbi operates and if you are convicted of a felony or dishonorably discharged from the military or subject to a protective order or as a result of a mental health crisis, all of these under existing law prohibit you from purchasing or possessing a firearm. but the background checkbu system doesn't work it doesn't account for much. i'm proud of the fact we came together on a bipartisan basis with this legislation by overwhelming margins. so anybody suggesting we simply haven't done anything or v has a faulty memory is very
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minimal but i would also add onwe have legislation to enhance school safety and one of the problems the cowards that commit these terrible acts don't go shoot up police stations. they go to the soft target like the schools and no parent should send their child to school wondering if they will be safe from attacks like in santa fe in texas. so we passed bipartisan legislation to deal with that as best we could we also recognize that many of the people who commit these acts are a danger tohe them because of the mental healths. crisis. so the 21st century cares bill have a broad bipartisan bill to pass legislation with
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the piloting of the assistingg outpatient treatment and the reason why that's so important is if you are dealing with an adult, adult child and adult spouse or a parent there's very little do you can do to make them follow doctor's orders and with the outpatient treatment or a mental health professional for a court order and in the mental health crisis and those who are mentally ill or prone to
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violence certainly when they lose control they can be a danger to themselves this pilot program that we pioneered in the 21st century cares act provided law enforcement with additional training that's where the active shooter training came from. and while the shooting goes on to attack the shooter where we are but to go one step further and to save lives to key people from bleeding to death by treating emergency medical
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personnel to save lives. part of the problem with discussing this topic is a lot of mythology outf there. i heard my friend, the democratic leaders say if we just pass a background check system may be dayton or el paso would not have happened. but both of those passed a background check. so now are you suggesting to pass a law to pretend we are doing somethingom clicks? to have a positive impact on saving lives? that's not what we did in this bill because as you b may recall a particular shooter there was disqualified for purchasing power but the air force and to buy a firearm and i'm proud to
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say as a result without bipartisanse legislation 400 percent increase of the federal government providing additional background check information into that mix system is it safe to i say that we passedd working together that's what we ought to be about or political posturing and let's be clear and get our facts right first. democratic leaders mentioned odessa. it is true the shooter did have a mental health commitment and tried to buy a gun through traditional means
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and failed a background check so was not successful but these are stilloo investigated and it looks like he purchased a firearm from the unlicensed icfirearm dealers. and if they sold the firearm to the shooter than that would be another that would and then that additional background check and what the dealer and purchaser did were already illegal. i just don't think that holds u up. so i look forward to continued discussion and debate as i travel across my state of texas w this past august as we itl did during the august
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work. but i always benefit from going back home to get refreshed with the thoughts and ideas and aspirations instead of living here inside this fantasy land is like a fascinating place to visit like disneyland. it's not real. what's real is people back home those that are the states including the great state ofex texas. and then also as a travel back home with the updates of what we've been working on in washington to see the legislation that we passed can actually make a difference back home. and one example is a program authorized by law with the
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project safe neighborhood which is the law of the land which is ad bill i introduce i invited the attorney general bar to come to dallas texas already driving down crime rates and communities in dallas partnering with local state and federal law enforcement together with federal prosecutors to target violent offenders and people who have no legal right to possess a firearm and use firearms routinely to commit crimes to target those offenders. and to create safer neighborhoods. this already has a positive impact and i'm eager to see the long-term benefits of this incredible program. in austin i visited the university of texas during the month of august those who reap
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the benefits of a bill we pass this last summer called the veteran stem improvement act that made us seemingly small change to an existingch program by the extended g.i. bill ability for those pursuing stemem degrees. we made a technical but important change now more students can continue their education with less financial stress. and the university of texas system said instead of three items they could qualify for maybe 25 or 28 now multiples of what they could qualify before under existing law. this small change will make a bigaw difference and so those
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that are using the g.i. bill benefits for their career goals and look forward to seeing what they can accomplish. in addition to those meetings and visits i attended a ribbon cutting in texas and i spoke to survivors of sexual assault about the need to pass the debbie smith act to help test the backlog rape kits. i could join my friend from laredo texas to discuss the future of the usmca us mexico canada trade agreement as the successor to nafta although a busy and productive work. it was also marked by a number of heartbreaking moments that i alluded to a moment ago. the moment of august 3rd
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gunmen stormed to k walmartli in el paso killing 22 instant people wounding two dozen others it became theoo deadliest mass shooting in the united states this year. and in the community as tightknit as el paso it was immeasurable and noting traveling from another part of the state and was not from el paso but the heartbreaking confusion turned into rage when we learned the shooter was a white supremacist whose crime could only be described as domestic terrorism. the day after the shooting i visited el paso and met with several victims as well as law enforcement officers who responded and members of the community created a memorial to honor those who lost their lives and it was about 4 feet wide by the time i returned
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with the president and the first lady three days later this 4-foot wide memorial to one - - had grown hundreds of foot wide. the outpouring by the community was overwhelming. and in the face of tragedy and unthinkable grief to the long line of folks who were donating - - waiting to donate blood it was truly remarkable. and as i also indicated at the beginning of my w remarks, we experienced another shooting. a man went on a shooting rampage killing seven people and wounding 25 others. when i visited odessa this last week, met the police officer santana who was shot but is expected to make a full
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recovery. when asked the police chief excuse me yes the police chief what do you think we might be able to do in washington that would help? he said we don't have adequate resources to deal with people suffering from mental health crisis. that could be one area where you couldd help. i had the pleasure of thanking the men and women in blue the law enforcement officers for their quick response in odessa and the work they do every day. by the way also have the opportunity to travel to the white house this morning president trump gave an award to the police officers in dayton ohio who could stop the shooterer there and offered certificates of commendation to some of the employees of walmart who helped to save
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lives in the shooting there. well major events like these that grab headlines, texas law enforcement officials all over the country are on the streets each and every day doing everything they can or what they could possibly do to keep our communitynk safe. i think it would just be negligence on our part not to continue to think these men and women and especially those who have responded to tragedies like el paso and midland and odessa. as our state continues to grieve the question is how did this happen? had we prevent it from happening again? we will try to identify gaps and problems with the law and fill those gaps to save lives in the process.
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if i knew how we could pass a law to prevent people from committing crimes, we would pass it unanimously. but unfortunately that is not the human condition. i have been speaking with my constituents as well as colleagues here over the last few weeks about what legislative solutions might look like and i do expect us to have a wide ranging debate in the coming days. but i spoke to a representative at the white house and they say they are putting together a set of proposals to provide the president later this week. we look forward to hearing what the president believes these proposals should consist of. again, the model we used after the shooting in 2017 was pretty good. introduced a bill to improve the background check system
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and prevent people who should not be able to purchase a firearm from doing so. we pass that legislation on a broad bipartisan basis. pass sooner it couldut have prevented the sutherland springs shooter from getting in the first place by lying on his background check knowing perhaps that the united states air force had not uploaded his conviction for domestic violence into the background check system so he could get it. these are the reforms they believe we should be looking at, real solutions to real problems. we owe it to the american people to focus on making changes that will work. not talking points or show boats but trying to solve the problem. the american people are smart mister president they can see what is happening when we
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resort to the same old tired talking points and are not angaged to find solutions. they see through it. we owe it to them and to ourselves and those who might become future victims to do everything we can to provide the tools for law enforcement to provide a --dash prevent as many of these deaths as we can the background check became law and had broad support from republicans and democrats as well as the president but this guides my approach if interested in scoring political points to pat ourselves on the back and run the next campaign. i'm actually interested to solve the problem to save lives in the process and that is what we did. leaders made it clear there is
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a proposal out there to meet the same criteria we will consider it on the floor of the senate to come together to figure out what the legislation would look like and although there are certainly differences of both sides of the aisle and to share a common goal to stop these mass shootings to the extent we humanly can be whatever you done that we may not be able to do that and hopefully save some lives in the process there is a lot of discussions about ways to do that i hope we can reach an weagreement soon. we cannot allow these acts of violence to somehow become the new normal. so as you keep the victims and their families of law enforcement impacted by the
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shooting we owe it to them and ourselves from experiencing these types of tragedies. mister president i yield the floor. . . . . this is just over three and half hours. >> subcommittee will come to order. without objection


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