House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is again asking Republican leadership to form a select committee on gun violence after another mass shooting incident.
The Democratic leader sent a letter Monday to Speaker Paul D. Ryan following the mass shooting in Las Vegas, in which a lone gunman killed at least 58 people firing from his hotel room in the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino onto a crowd attending a country music festival. More than 500 people were injured during the shooting, the worst in American history.
Pelosi’s request is not the first time she’s called for such a select committee. GOP leaders have previously ignored her calls, and Ryan is unlikely to act upon this one.
“Congress has a moral duty to address this horrific and heartbreaking epidemic,” Pelosi wrote Monday. “Charged with the solemn duty to protect and defend the American people, we must respond to these tragedies with courage, unity and decisive action.”
The California Democrat suggested Congress act by passing legislation to strengthen background checks for people trying to buy guns and by forming a select committee to look at other legislative solutions that would help curb gun violence.
Only the majority party can form a select committee. Democrats, who are in the minority in the House, have a gun violence prevention task force that has proposed related legislation in recent years.
“As Members of Congress, our words of comfort to the families of the victims of the Las Vegas massacre will ring hollow unless we take long overdue action to ensure that no other family is forced to endure such an unimaginable tragedy,” Pelosi said in her letter to Ryan.
Ryan was asked Sept. 13 about what Congress can and will do to prevent gun violence during an AP Newsmakers event. He said at the time that “one of the biggest things” Congress can do is follow up on the mental health legislation that it passed last year to ensure it is executed and funded.
“If you’re saying that this Republican Congress is going to infringe upon Second Amendment rights — we’re not going to do that,” the speaker said.