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US House approves expanded background checks for gun sales

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The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a bill that would expand background checks for gun sales to include firearm purchases at gun shows and over the internet, a measure likely to face Senate and White House opposition.

The background check bill, which was approved by a 240-190 vote, is the first gun control measure taken up by Democrats since they regained control of the House in the 2018 congressional midterm elections.

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The bill is likely to face opposition when it goes to the Republican-controlled Senate, however. It would also need President Donald Trump’s signature in order to become law.

The White House said on Monday that Trump’s advisers would recommend the president veto the legislation because it would apply “burdensome requirements” that are “incompatible with the Second Amendment’s guarantee of an individual right to keep arms.”

Trump has previously indicated he supported efforts to extend background checks to all gun sales.

“I will be strongly pushing Comprehensive Background Checks with an emphasis on Mental Health. Raise age to 21 and end sale of Bump Stocks! Congress is in a mood to finally do something on this issue – I hope!” Trump tweeted a year ago, after a shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 dead.

Representative Steny Hoyer, the No. 2 House Democrat, told reporters on Tuesday that Republicans had prevented a vote on a background check bill when they controlled the chamber, and that while there were differences among Democrats about how to curb gun violence, the background check bill had broad support.

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“The carnage that we’ve seen perpetrated by gun violence over the last decade has heightened the American people’s concern, and the bill that we’re putting on the floor we believe has the support of 90 percent of the American people,” Hoyer said.

From 2009 to 2017, there were at least 173 shootings in the United States in which four or more people were killed, with at least 1,001 total deaths, according to the advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety.

Representative Doug Collins, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee where the background check bill originated, said on Wednesday that the bill was ineffective because it “foolishly presumes criminals who flout existing laws will suddenly submit themselves to background checks.”

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The House is set to vote on Thursday on a second bill that would extend the time it takes to conduct a background check before a gun sale to 10 days from minutes.

Reporting by Amanda Becker; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall

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2020 Election

GOP strategists fear a Kris Kobach nomination could cost Republicans greatly: ‘The Senate majority runs through Kansas’

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In Kansas’ Republican senatorial primary, voters will choose between former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach and Rep. Roger Marshall — who some GOP strategists believe is by far the more electable of the two. And according to Politico’s James Arkin, one of the prominent Republicans who is sounding the alarm is Kevin McLaughlin, executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

Although Kobach and Marshall are both hard-right politically, Kobach is more extreme — so extreme that even in deep red Kansas, he lost a gubernatorial race to a centrist Democrat in the 2018 midterms. That Democrat, Laura Kelly, is now governor of Kansas, where Kobach was a leading promoter of the racist “birther” conspiracy theory during the 2010s.

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2020 Election

Trump infuriates business owners in two key states over GOP convention debacle

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The ongoing saga of the Republican Party's attempt to hold a convention in August to choose Donald Trump as their presidential nominee is leaving small business owners in spurned Charlotte, North Carolina and Jacksonville, Florida frustrated and angry over lost income at a time when the economy is reeling.

According to a report from the Daily Beast, business owners in Charlotte are angry that the president abruptly pulled the convention from their city over concerns he couldn't put on the big production he craves due to the COVID-19 pandemic and Jacksonville business owners are unsure whether the convention that was moved to their city will pay off now that the GOP is dialing it back over the same health crisis concerns.

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CNN

‘It’s not a both sides thing’: CNN host battles Trump aide over hydroxychloroquine misinformation

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CNN host Jim Sciutto took on White House trade adviser Peter Navarro on Monday about his evangelism of the drug hydroxychloroquine.

During an interview with Navarro, Sciutto noted that Assistant Health and Human Services Secretary Brett Giroir had recently said that there is no benefit in taking hydroxychloroquine to prevent or treat COVID-19.

"Given your past public support for it," Sciutto said, "is it time for the administration to focus on proven treatments for COVID rather than one that has not been proven?"

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