Paul Ryan’s Latest Showdown With the Freedom Caucus Is All About Guns

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The House Freedom Caucus– the same group that drove House Speaker John Boehner out of office after years of run-ins over funding bills– won’t back a gun bill being pushed by House Speaker Paul Ryan that aims to keep guns out of the hands of suspected terrorists.

In a major schism within his conference, Ryan is struggling to garner consensus on the legislation that was designed to look similar to Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn’s bill that forces investigators to provide evidence before a gun sale to a suspected terrorist is permanently blocked. According to a report from Politico, Ryan had initially planned to bring the legislation to the floor as early as Wednesday, but a rules committee meeting on the legislation was postponed after rumblings began that the House Freedom Caucus was frustrated with both the process and the perception that Ryan was rewarding House Democrats who had taken to the floor for a sit-in to demand action on guns in June.

“Significant portions of the bill did not go through the regular committee approval process. Committees of jurisdiction should work to improve the bill. We stand ready to assist in that process to best address the greatest threats posed to the homeland,” the Freedom Caucus said in a released statement Wednesday.

House Speaker Paul Ryan said Wednesday during his leadership presser that he was still confident the legislation had a path forward.

“I think there is still a path forward. We are in ongoing negotiations,” Ryan said. “The last thing we are going to do is rush something to the floor that we don’t have right.”

House Freedom Caucus member David Brat – who ousted Majority Leader Eric Cantor in a primary– told Politico that he was frustrated with Ryan’s gun push.

“Our side whipped together something in the short term because of
political pressure. But they shouldn’t have done that,” Rep. Dave
Brat (R-VA) said.
“There is a reason you have committees and regular order,
to put together bills and policies that won’t harm the American people.
And this would. No one wants guns in the hands of terrorists but this
bill has fundamental problems.”

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