News Releases

Almost immediately following Senator Murray’s speech, news broke of a school shooting in Santa Clarita, California

Statement from Senator Murray: “My heart is shattered by this news and the knowledge that this far-too-common tragedy has now hurt more children and families” 

In her Senate floor speech prior to the shooting, Senator Murray called out President Trump for backtracking on his promise to address the crisis of gun violence in America and called on Senate Republicans to hold a vote on commonsense, House-passed gun reform legislation

HR 8 is a bipartisan, widely supported universal background check bill that passed the House more than 250 days ago 

Washington Post: “Trump abandons proposing ideas to curb gun violence after saying he would following mass shootings” More HERE 

ICYMI: Senator Murray Demands Action in the Senate to Address Gun Violence Epidemic: Families in Washington State Have “Had Enough of Just ‘Thoughts and Prayers’” – More HERE

***VIDEO OF SENATOR MURRAY’S SPEECH AVAILABLE HERE*** 

(Washington, D.C.) – This morning, moments before news broke of a school shooting in Santa Clarita, California, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) decried President Trump and Senate Republicans for failing to address the gun violence epidemic that continues to plague families across America, and called for a Senate vote on bipartisan background check legislation, HR 8. Despite HR 8 passing the House more than 250 days ago, Senate Republicans have refused to hold a vote on the bill, abdicating their responsibility to address the gun violence crisis to President Trump, who last week went back on his promise to pursue gun safety legislation following several mass-shootings this summer.

“Earlier today, as my Democratic colleagues and I were on the Senate floor calling out President Trump for breaking his promise to act on gun violence and urging Majority Leader McConnell to stop blocking a vote on House-passed, bipartisan universal background check legislation, devastating news broke of yet another school shooting. My heart is shattered by this news and the knowledge that this far-too-common tragedy has now hurt more children and families,” Senator Murray said in a statement following news of the shooting. “As I made clear this morning, the House passed bipartisan, commonsense gun safety legislation more than 250 days ago. There is now nothing standing in the way of this critical step except President Trump, Majority Leader McConnell, and the NRA—and Democrats are going to keep making our case and working as hard as we can for action that helps protect communities from this senseless epidemic.”

The speech this morning is just the most recent step by Senator Murray in her continued push for common-sense legislation to curb gun violence, and follows another effort by the senator to push for universal background check legislation following mass-shootings in Dayton, Ohio and El Paso and Midland, Texas. Senator Murray has long been a strong supporter of gun safety reforms, and as the top Democrat on the Senate health and education committee, has repeatedly fought to invest federal resources in gun violence prevention research.

Key excerpts from Senator Murray’s remarks:

“President Trump has betrayed his pledge to address this tragic epidemic, as if the past summer never even happened. Once again, he’s chosen to abdicate his responsibility to keep our families and communities safe, and has broken yet another promise he made to the American people, kowtowing to the NRA and its unpopular, hard-right agenda to stymie commonsense gun reform as soon as mass shootings were out of the headlines.”

“Senate Democrats and I are going to keep fighting for commonsense gun safety reforms like universal background checks, even when gun violence isn’t making a headline that day. Because while President Trump continues carrying water for the NRA and Senate Republicans continuing hiding behind President Trump, Democrats here understand that Congress has a duty to act to protect lives, and that the President’s cowardice absolutely should not set Congress’ agenda.”

“In my home state of Washington, we have closed background check loopholes, and enacted Extreme Risk Protection Orders. We were able to accomplish those things because of... people like Jane Weiss who lives in Mill Creek, Washington. After she tragically lost her niece to gun violence, Jane joined the fight to pass lifesaving legislation in Washington state by putting pressure on her state lawmakers—and won. There are people like Jane all across the country, who are speaking up, fighting back, even when it means reliving some of the hardest moments of their lives, in order to prevent others from suffering as much as they have.”

“So I want to be very clear. I hope my Republican colleagues allow this legislation to pass today, but if they don’t, for Jane and so many others, Senate Democrats are going to keep shining a spotlight on the inaction on gun violence here in the Senate, and the broken promises coming out of the White House. We’re going to keep making our case, building support, and we’re not going to give up until this is done.”

Watch Senator Murray’s speech HERE:

Read the full text of Senator Murray’s remarks:

“Thank you, M. President.

“M. President, I want to thank Senators Murphy and Blumenthal for their tremendous leadership that we are here on the floor today to speak about.

I come to the floor today not just as a member of the Senate, representing my home state of Washington, but as a former educator, as a mother, and as a grandmother devastated by how the gun violence epidemic is tearing apart our families and ravaging our communities, in every state, and I am furious at Republican leaders who continue to stand by and do nothing while more and more lives are lost.

“Just as I was after Newtown, and Parkland, and Sutherland Springs, and Marysville in my home state of Washington, I could go on.

“M. President, we don’t have to continue this cycle of violence, and heartbreak, and inaction.

“And we are here today to emphasize that there is action we can take right now, because earlier this year, the House passed HR 8—meaningful, bipartisan gun safety legislation to address this terrible crisis through universal background checks and other popular reforms.

“But in the two hundred and sixty days since HR 8 passed the House, it has languished here in the Senate despite repeated calls from myself and my Democratic colleagues for a vote.

“And that’s why fifty eight days ago, following the tragic events at El Paso, Dayton, and Midland, I joined my Senate Democratic colleagues here on the floor to try and break the cycle, and demand we address the scourge of gun violence in this country by taking a vote here in the Senate on HR 8, which would install universal background checks, a policy—that by the way–is supported by an overwhelming majority of Americans.

“And in the face of Republican apathy, people across our country raised their voices even louder, demanding action to end the endless waves of gun tragedies, so much so that after this summer’s string of horrors, President Trump bowed to public pressure and made a commitment to finally act to address the gun violence epidemic.

“After months and years of inaction, and far, far too many lives lost, it was the first sliver of hope in a long while that the President and Senate Republicans would finally put the safety of our families over their allegiance to the NRA, and do something substantive about ending this nation’s gun violence epidemic—working with Democrats towards commonsense reforms to end gun violence, and keep people safe.

“Now, more than two months later, President Trump has betrayed his pledge to address this tragic epidemic, as if the past summer never even happened.

“Once again, he’s chosen to abdicate his responsibility to keep our families and communities safe, and has broken yet another promise he made to the American people, kowtowing to the NRA and its unpopular, hard-right agenda to stymie commonsense gun reform as soon as mass shootings were out of the headlines.

“Well, I can assure you Senate Democrats and I are going to keep fighting for commonsense gun safety reforms like universal background checks, even when gun violence isn’t making a headline that day.

“Because while President Trump continues carrying water for the NRA and Senate Republicans continuing hiding behind President Trump, Democrats here understand that Congress has a duty to act to protect lives, and that the President’s cowardice absolutely should not set Congress’ agenda.

“While President Trump’s backtracking on this serious issue is disgraceful, I ask my Republican colleagues to remember that we are not beholden to the President or the gun lobby—that we do not need President Trump’s permission to vote on bills, or to act to save lives.

“In fact, in states across the country, we have been able to take on the gun lobby and make meaningful progress to address this crisis.

“In my home state of Washington, we have closed background check loopholes, and enacted Extreme Risk Protection Orders.

“We were able to accomplish those things because of the advocacy of groups like Moms Demand Action, across my state, the Washington state Alliance for Gun Responsibility, Everytown for Gun Safety, March for our Lives,  so many more.

“As well as the dedicated volunteers and activists behind these organizations—the brave people who have been out making their voices heard and putting pressure on lawmakers to do their jobs to end this senseless epidemic.

“People like Jane Weiss who lives in Mill Creek, Washington.

“After she tragically lost her niece to gun violence, Jane joined the fight to pass lifesaving legislation in Washington state by putting pressure on her state lawmakers—and won.

“There are people like Jane all across the country, who are speaking up, fighting back, even when it means reliving some of the hardest moments of their lives, in order to prevent others from suffering as much as they have.

“M. President, that is hard and brave work to do.

“But there is absolutely nothing hard, or brave, about simply having a vote on a bipartisan, House-passed legislation to ensure universal background checks.

“To the contrary, it is the height of cowardice not to hold that vote while families across the country wonder which movie theater or shopping mall or synagogue or mosque or church, or community space is next, and while students spend their time in school on active shooter drills while they should be learning. 

“But unfortunately, cowardice is what we’re seeing from far too many Republicans—here in the Senate and in the White House—when it comes to protecting families from the scourge of gun violence.

“So I want to be very clear. I hope my Republican colleagues allow this legislation to pass today, but if they don’t, for Jane and so many others, Senate Democrats are going to keep shining a spotlight on the inaction on gun violence here in the Senate, and the broken promises coming out of the White House.

“We’re going to keep making our case, building support, and we’re not going to give up until this is done.

“Thank you and I yield the floor.”

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