01.05.16

Rep. Barbara Lee: Congress Must “Start Listening to the American People and Not the NRA”

Oakland, CA – Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee released this statement following President Obama’s executive action to address the epidemic of gun violence that’s raging in the East Bay and communities around the country:

“Today’s actions by President Obama are an important and necessary step as we work to address the epidemic of gun violence in our communities.

The President’s actions will toughen background checks, bolster enforcement of existing laws, improve mental health services and drive new research into gun safety.

While the President’s actions are a needed step, Congress can and must do more.

As Members of Congress, our most important job is to protect and defend the American people. By refusing to address the ongoing epidemic of gun violence in our nation, Congress has failed this sacred duty.

Each year, there are more than 30,000 gun deaths nationwide. The American people cannot wait any longer for Congressional action.

Less than a month ago, my Republican colleagues repeatedly blocked efforts to close a loophole that allows individuals on the terrorist watch list to purchase a weapon. If they are too dangerous to fly on an airplane, why aren't they too dangerous to have a weapon that fires 800 rounds per minute?

As a member of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, I am committed to working with my colleagues to find real and comprehensive solutions to end gun violence in our communities. It’s past time for Congress to start listening to the American people and not the NRA.”

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Congresswoman Lee is a member of the Appropriations and Budget Committees, the Steering and Policy Committee, is a Senior Democratic Whip, former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus and co-chair of the Progressive Caucus. She serves as chair of the Whip’s Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity.