- House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy and Minority Whip Steve Scalise encouraged their members to vote no.
- A Republican congressman representing Uvalde, Texas, voted in favor of the arms deal.
- Democrats say they will continue to push for more reforms, such as banning assault weapons.
WASHINGTON — The House on Friday approved a bipartisan arms deal, confirming the largest reform package passed by Congress in nearly 30 years.
Legislation first drafted and passed by the Senate is now turning over to President Joe Biden, who on Thursday urged Congress to “get the job done” so he could sign it into law.
Unlike the Senate vote Thursday, when 15 Republicans joined Democrats to approve the arms deal, the House mostly voted along party lines.
House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy and Minority Whip Steve Scalise encouraged their members to vote against the legislation after the conservative House Freedom Caucus asked them to lash against it.
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House Democrats have a 220-210 margin and eventually passed the arms deal 234-193. Fourteen Republicans voted in favour.
Rep. Tony Gonzales, a Republican representing Uvalde, Texas, broke ranks with his party and voted for the legislation.
Earlier this week, he said it is his “duty to pass laws that never infringe the Constitution while protecting the lives of innocents”.
The House debate over the gun law came shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court’s watershed decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, reversing five decades of legal abortions.
Time set aside for gun law debate was sometimes used to comment on the landmark ruling.
The SCOTUS decision:Supreme Court Overturns Roe v. Wade, Eliminating Constitutional Right to Abortion
Rep. For example, Jerry Nadler, DN.Y., said he found it hard to… not address.
Nadler said the judges said in their ruling that this was “just the beginning of a radical right-wing effort to roll back other rights, including the right to contraception, the right to marry whoever we want and the fundamental right to privacy.”
Congress is under mounting pressure on several issues, but none is more pressing than gun rights and abortion rights.
May mass shootings in Buffalo, New York and Uvalde sparked screams from parents and loved ones pleading with Biden to “do something.”
The Senate’s bipartisan arms deal was their answer — one that many Democrats believe doesn’t go far enough, while several Republican voters fear their gun rights will be affected.
“Upset Whatever Happens”:Arms deal with Senate leaves voters on both sides dissatisfied, frustrated
“While more is needed, this package will take action to save lives,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said earlier this month.
In addition to the Senate package, House Democrats will fight for nationwide background checks, banning high-capacity magazines and raising the gun-buying age, which Pelosi says “should also become law.”
Republicans in the Senate said those efforts will never make it through their chambers.
What the two sides have agreed on is what was passed in the Senate: improved background checks on young buyers, increased funding for school security and mental health services, closing the boyfriend loophole and boosting “red flags.” “laws.
The legislation provides grants to any state that passes “red flag” laws, allowing courts to remove firearms from those deemed a threat to themselves or others. States that do not pass red flag laws can use the money for other crisis prevention programs.
The Senate votes:Senate approves bipartisan arms deal for first time in three decades, leaving Biden needing victory
The senators also approved extensive background checks on gun buyers 21 and under to include their mental health and juvenile justice records. The law forces the seller and authorities to wait 10 business days to complete the assessment.
Such an assessment could have stopped the mass shootings in Buffalo, New York and Uvalde, Texas last month, as well as a mass shooting in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015, senators said.
The legislation also closes the so-called ‘friend in the law’, a gray area in the legislation that leaves some women vulnerable to domestic violence related to weapons.
Current law prohibits perpetrators of domestic violence from purchasing weapons if they have abused their spouses or live-in partners with whom they had children. Senate legislation would extend the law to “boyfriends” or partners in a current or recent relationship “of a romantic or intimate nature” who have been convicted of domestic violence.
The House vote comes a day after the US Supreme Court struck down a law in New York that made it easier for Americans to carry guns and continued a divisive political debate over firearms.
It also comes at a time when the president needs an achievement he can bring to the American people, who are increasingly frustrated with the rising cost of living and the stalled progress on various parts of Biden’s agenda.
Debate continues:Congress could approve Senate arms deal, but a bigger, tricky standoff is unlikely to shift
SCOTUS decision:The Supreme Court has just made a monumental ruling on gun rights. This is what it means
Candy Woodall is a congressional reporter for USA TODAY. She can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @candynotcandace.