Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, fearing Republican support could fall in suburbs nationwide, is trying to come up with a formula for gun control legislation that could help stem this tide before next year’s election, The Hill reported on Tuesday.
Expanded background checks, for example, have strong support among swing voters in the suburbs, whom McConnell views as crucial to maintaining control of GOP-held swing seats in the Senate.
The majority leader reportedly acknowledges that there is a political benefit to advancing a bipartisan measure following a series of mass shootings this year that has helped bolster public support for gun control.
One aide told The Hill that “House Republicans got rocked in the suburbs in the last election,” which fueled the Democratic takeover of the House.
However, McConnell is reportedly hamstrung in what measures to support, because it is unclear what type of legislation President Donald Trump will back. The majority leader does not want to allow any daylight to emerge between Senate Republicans and the president, who has an approval rating among Republican voters of more than 80%.
Sen. John Cornyntold reporters that White House officials are expected to present gun violence policy options to Trump later in the week, but where the president will wind up on the issue is completely unpredictable.
Republicans are also concerned about putting themselves in conflict with the NRA, a powerful special interest and grassroots lobbying group.
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