The House Judiciary Committee has scheduled a review of the Protect Our Kids Act for Thursday, which reportedly will be the House’s newest attempt at passing gun control legislation.
While the committee has not released information about the bill, Punchbowl News reports the legislation will include raising the age to purchase semi-automatic assault rifles, requiring background checks on all gun sales, and establishing new requirements for storing guns at home, among other items.
The hearing comes a week after an 18-year-old gunman fatally shot 19 students and two teachers at a Texas elementary school.
While such a bill could get majority support in the House, clearing the 60-vote threshold to break the filibuster in the Senate seems unlikely.
Several Republicans have expressed an openness to considering some new gun laws. Most notably has been Sen. John Cornyn, a Texas Republican who has been meeting with some Democrats on a compromise bill. Whether Cornyn and nine other Republicans would band together with Democrats on gun legislation is a tall task.
"We will, in the course of investigations and oversight, and in terms of legislation that may be considered, be looking to try to find ways to try to make events like this less likely to happen in the future,” Cornyn told reporters.
His Republican colleague from Texas, Sen. Ted Cruz, has been much less open, rejecting any calls for new legislation.
As of now, the White House is taking a hands-off approach on negotiating new gun laws. President Joe Biden said on Monday he had not talked to Republican members about new gun laws.
On Tuesday, he told reporters he is willing to meet with Congress.
"I have been to more mass shooting aftermaths than any president in American history, unfortunately," Biden said. "So much, much of it is preventable and the deviation is amazing. Yesterday, or the day before, I was down in Texas and people sat in the room, about 250 of them in a large room with me, for almost four hours. Nobody left until I talked to every single person in the room. Every single person. They waited until the very end. And the pain is palpable.”