US Capitol on Obama's Inagural Day. Photo by Ramona du Houx
Congresswoman Chellie Pingree spoke on the House floor today, calling on Republican leaders to allow votes on bipartisan legislation to reduce gun violence. In her speech, Pingree said that after the Democratic-organized sit-in two weeks ago, she's heard from many Mainers who have asked if Congress would act.
"Will we finally do something to reduce the scourge of gun violence that is sweeping this country? Will we finally do something to limit access to guns by criminals and suspected terrorists?" Pingree said on the House floor.
Pingree is cosponsoring two proposals—a bill to expand background checks to cover all gun sales and legislation to block anyone on the "No Fly" list from buying guns. She and her colleagues are demanding a vote on these two bipartisan proposals as an alternative to the NRA-backed bill that House Republicans have decided to vote on later this week.
"The NRA works for the gun industry, not the American people. The legislation they are supporting does nothing to make our communities safer and would make it virtually impossible to stop suspected terrorists from buying guns," Pingree said.
Last month, Pingree and 12 of her colleagues started a sit-in on the House floor that was eventually joined by nearly every Democrat in the House and several dozen Senators and lasted for over 24 hours.