On Tuesday, Axios reported that First Daughter Ivanka Trump is calling up senators behind the scenes and trying to gauge whether President Donald Trump would be able to seriously consider gun legislation in the wake of the El Paso and Dayton mass shootings.
In particular, she has called up Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Pat Toomey (R-PA), the architects of the last serious attempt to reform federal gun laws in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012.
Neither of these two senators are exactly gun control advocates — they’re both NRA members and Toomey has stated that assault weapons are too “popular” to ban — and their legislation in 2013 would have actually loosened restrictions on some handgun sales and prohibited the creation of a federal gun registry. But it would also have expanded background checks by closing loopholes around private sales online and at gun shows.
Even this modest compromise was too much for the NRA, which successfully lobbied to kill Manchin and Toomey’s bill. But the proposal has periodically been brought up in subsequent years after particularly horrific shootings.
There are signs that Republicans may be wavering on their hardline stance, and Trump reportedly has lost respect for the NRA in the midst of their financial scandals because he thinks they can’t afford to help re-elect him. But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has stepped on calls to bring the Senate out of recess to debate the issue.
Ivanka has long cultivated an image of herself as advising her father to moderate his positions on tough issues behind the scenes, although in her more candid moments, she has admitted this isn’t really why she’s in the White House.