Trump spurns Dems on universal background checks

President Donald Trump will not consider the House-passed universal background checks bill as part of his proposed gun package, according to a source familiar with the conversation on guns.

Trump’s position on the House-passed bill is not exactly a surprise. The White House issued a veto threat against the bill in February.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) have called on Trump repeatedly to bring up the House-passed universal background checks bill. Over the weekend, Pelosi and Schumer issued a statement following a phone call with Trump that anything other than the House-passed bill “will not get the job done.”

Schumer reiterated his calls Monday for the White House to back the House proposal.

“We’re certainly willing to discuss the finer points of legislation with our Republican colleagues, but we made one thing clear to the president — the effectiveness of gun safety measures will be severely compromised if we allow the loopholes in our background check system to remain intact,” Schumer said on the Senate floor.

But Senate Majority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.) said Monday that Schumer and Pelosi were merely trying to score political points.

“The things that they are proposing just aren’t realistic and they know that and so it’s designed more to talk to their political base and it’s a lot more about that than I think an actual solution,” Thune said.

Trump met again with aides Monday to discuss proposals to address gun violence. The White House expects to release the package of proposals this week but Trump is on a campaign trip to New Mexico and California though Wednesday night. On Friday, he will host an all-day state visit for officials from Australia. His schedule makes Thursday the most likely day, though nothing has been scheduled.