Washington, DC — Most Republicans in the U.S. Senate — including Iowa Senators Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley, joined Monday night to vote for N-R-A-backed measures and reject Democratic alternatives proposed after the mass shooting in Orlando. In the end, all four gun-related proposals failed to win enough support in the Senate to advance.
Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says the proposals from Democrats didn’t protect the “fundamental constitutional right” to keep and bear arms.
Iowa Senator Joni Ernst says “laws will not deter terrorists” and the U.S. must “get serious” about combating terrorism overseas and here at home. Grassley was the lead sponsor of one G-O-P proposal. It called for the nation’s attorney general to study what causes mass shootings and it would have dedicated more money to the federal background check system and required states to submit more information. Democrats say it failed to expand background checks. A Democratic proposal called for denying gun sales to people on the so-called “no fly” list, but Grassley says the lists are flawed and the “due process rights” of those individuals would have been violated.
Grassley and other Republicans will meet privately to discuss another gun-related measure that’s being proposed by a Pennsylvania senator who’s in a tough re-election fight.
Grassley is seeking reelection, too. His Democratic opponent called Grassley’s Monday votes “infuriating.” U.S. Senate candidate Patty Judge of Albia says “preventing terrorists from purchasing guns” and expanding background checks “should not even be a debate” after the worst mass shooting in recent U.S. history.