Day 799: "Mess things up."
1/ Kevin McCarthy suggested that lawmakers need to see “all the facts” before they consider any gun legislation following the shooting in Nashville where seven people were killed. The Nashville shooting was the 130th mass shooting incident in this U.S. this year, so far. Democrats planned to introduce a measure to boost federal research into the cause of gun violence, but it has little chance of passing the Republican-controlled House. Republican congressman Tim Burchett, meanwhile, said Congress is “not gonna fix” the problem of school shootings and that he doesn’t see a role for Congress in preventing future shootings “other than mess things up.” Instead, the three-term congressman from Tennessee suggested that Americans should focus on more thoughts and prayers, saying: “If you want to legislate evil, it’s just not going to happen. We need a real revival in this country. Let’s call on our Christian ministers and our people of faith.” (CNN / Washington Post)
2/ North Carolina residents no longer need a permit to buy a handgun. The state’s Republican-led legislature eliminated the longstanding permit system that required local sheriffs to perform character evaluations and criminal history checks of pistol applicants. Although Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed the measure, the legislature overrode the veto. The permit repeal takes effect immediately. (Associated Press / USA Today)
3/ The Idaho Legislature will vote to establish a new crime – dubbed “abortion trafficking” – that would limit minors’ ability to travel for an abortion without parental consent, even in states where the procedure is legal. House Bill 242 defines “abortion trafficking” as an adult “recruiting, harboring, or transporting the pregnant minor within this state” without the parent’s consent. The bill passed the Idaho House earlier this month. Less than a year ago, Idaho banned nearly all abortions in the state. (Washington Post / HuffPost)
4/ The Senate voted to formally repeal the war authorizations that justified the 1991 Gulf War and the 2003 Iraq War. The action is largely symbolic since U.S. combat operations against Iraq ended more than a decade ago and would have no effect on any ongoing military operations. Nearly 5,000 Americans lost their lives in Iraq and more than 31,000 U.S. troops were wounded. Iraqi deaths are estimated in the hundreds of thousands. (NPR / Associated Press)
5/ The Manhattan grand jury investigating Trump’s alleged hush money payment isn’t expected to hear evidence in the case until late April. The break is due in part to a pre-scheduled two weeks off beginning April 10. The hiatus comes about 10 days after Trump publicly predicted he would be arrested. Trump, meanwhile, released the following statement: “I HAVE GAINED SUCH RESPECT FOR THIS GRAND JURY, 7 PERHAPS EVEN THE GRAND JURY SYSTEM AS A WHOLE.” (Politico / Washington Post / Associated Press / CNN)
poll/ 57% of Americans believe Trump should be disqualified from running for president if he is criminally charged in any of the multiple state and federal investigations. 38% said he should not be barred from doing so if he’s criminally charged. (Quinnipiac)
poll/ 60% of Americans say the government spends too much money, while 22% say spending levels are about right, and 16% say the government is spending too little. At the same time, roughly 60% of Americans also say the government spends too little on education, health care, infrastructure, and Social Security, and Medicare. (Associated Press)
poll/ 31% of Americans say the economy is the most important issue facing the country – the top issue for respondents in the survey – followed by preserving democracy at 20%. No other issue, including health care, immigration, climate change, and education, broke double-digits. (NPR)
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