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Mitch McConnell: Awaiting word from White House on gun legislation

Senate Majority Mitch McConnell said Tuesday he’s waiting for the White House to clearly articulate any gun-related legislation that President Trump would sign into law, in the wake of another shooting in Texas that has prompted calls from gun control advocates for action in Congress.

“The administration is in the process of studying what they’re prepared to support, if anything, and I expect to get an answer [to] that next week,” the Kentucky Republican told radio host Hugh Hewitt. “If the president is in favor of a number of things that he has discussed openly and publicly, and I know that if we pass it [and] it [will] become law, [then] I’ll put it on the floor.”

The Senate is due to be back in session next week after the chamber’s traditional August recess, but Democrats have pressed Mr. McConnell to call the Senate back early to vote on House-passed legislation to tighten gun-purchase background checks.

Mr. McConnell said there is a “discussion” about what to do on the gun issue in the wake of “these horrendous shootings.”

“I said several weeks ago that if the president took a position on a bill so that we knew we would actually be making a law and not just having serial votes, I’d be happy to put it on the floor,” he said.

A mass shooting in Texas over the weekend claimed the lives of seven people, in addition to the alleged gunman. It follows other recent mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.

Mr. Trump expressed an interest in the background check issue after the El Paso and Dayton shootings that collectively claimed the lives of more than 30 people.

But on Monday he downplayed that aspect of the debate, as the administration prepares legislation to expedite executions for people found guilty of mass killings.

“As strong as you make your background checks, they would not have stopped any of it,” the president said.

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