House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) called President Trump on Sunday morning to urge him to support a House-passed bill that would expand background checks on firearm purchases. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) says he won't allow a vote on any gun measure Trump hasn't committed to signing, and Trump has gone back and forth on background checks.
Pelosi and Schumer said in a statement Sunday afternoon that they "made it clear to the president that any proposal he endorses that does not include the House-passed universal background checks legislation will not get the job done." To sweeten the deal, they promised if Trump "endorses this legislation and gets Sen. McConnell to act on what the House has passed, we would both join him for a historic signing ceremony at the Rose Garden."
The 11-minute call took place while Trump was at his golf course in Northern Virginia, a Democratic aide tells The Washington Post, and the Rose Garden gambit was Schumer's idea. White House Deputy Press Secretary Judd Deere said Trump "made no commitments" on specific gun measures in the "cordial" phone conversation but is interested in "working to find a bipartisan legislative solution on appropriate responses to the issue of mass gun violence."
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A historic Rose Garden signing ceremony was also reportedly daughter/adviser Ivanka Trump's pitch to get her father to support universal background checks. The National Rifle Association appeared to have talked Trump out of the idea, and Pelosi and Schumer resurrecting it "was a bit of public posturing," The New York Times reports. They know it's unlikely Trump will embrace a measure opposed by the NRA, even though polls show that roughly 90 percent of Americans support universal background checks.
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