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Politics & Government

Sen. Stabenow calls on Republican Senators to help pass gun legislation

Debbie Stabenow on the Senate floor
Courtesy of Sen. Stabenow's office
Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow, a Democrat, speaks on the floor of the U.S. Senate on May 25, 2022.

Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow called on Senate Republicans Wednesday to take action following the mass shooting that left 21 dead at a Texas elementary school a day prior.

On the floor of the U.S. Senate, Stabenow, a Democrat, was scheduled to speak on legislation for school lunches. Instead, she gave an emotional speech about Tuesday's mass shooting.

Stabenow said bills addressing gun laws that have been added to the Senate’s calendar, like universal background checks and closing the gun show loophole, are popular and would need just 10 Republican votes to become law.

"We don't need everybody," said Stabenow. "Some folks can go run and stand with gun manufacturers and, and what has become an incredibly extreme NRA. We just need 10, 10 people to stand up and go, 'this is too much. This has gone too far. We can do better than this.'"

During her speech, Stabenow turned and looked at the Senate Minority Leader, Republican Mitch McConnell, who, minutes before, spoke about the shooting but did not mention gun legislation or possible reforms. McConnell called for prayers to the families affected and thanked first responders for their actions.

"I'd like to ask Leader McConnell. What is the number? How many children will he describe and sympathy will he show for dead children on the floor of the U.S. Senate before it's enough? How many? When is it enough?" said Stabenow.

Stabenow added that she remembers when the federal assault weapons ban went into effect in 1994. The law only lasted for 10 years.

"I grew up in northern Michigan community surrounded by legal gun ownership. Nobody in my family stopped hunting. Nobody in my family had to say oh well, we can't do what we want to do because military assault weapons aren't available," said Stabenow.

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