Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced a last-minute vote Friday on a bill to ban assault weapons, bringing the much-watched measure to the floor following a string of mass shootings nationwide.
Pelosi’s decision to hold a vote on the legislation is significant — Democrats dragged their feet on bringing the bill to the floor for weeks out of concern that the razor-thin Democratic majority did not have enough support to get the measure over the finish line. On Friday, however, said she believed the bill would pass.
The assault weapons ban has a total of 207 voting co-sponsors. Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), the lead sponsor of the bill, and Pelosi will also support the measure, bringing the number of reliable “yes” votes to 209. But that figure is still shy of the 216 needed for passage.
Rep. Chris Jacobs (R-N.Y.) said he would support the bill should it be brought for a vote, and Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) has expressed support for a prohibition on the popular firearms.
But even with their support, Democrats still need more members of their caucus to come on board.
Eleven House Democrats who have not signed on as co-sponsors. Here is what they have said about the measure.
Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.)
DeFazio, who is not running reelection this year, has been silent on whether or not he will support the assault weapons ban. Last month, he said “we’ll see what happens.”
The Oregon Democrat did support previous firearm measures, including a bill to nationalize red flag laws and a package that would have raised the minimum age for purchasing a semi-automatic weapon from 18 to 21.
Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D-Texas)
Gonzalez was one of three Democrats who voted against the rule on Friday setting up the debate.
Last month, the congressman said an assault weapons ban was “definitely something that we need to be careful with.”
“I’m for responsible gun ownership, and there needs to be a balance between responsible gun ownership and just a straight-up ban,” he added.
Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wis.)
Politico reported last week that Kind has telling colleagues he was undecided on the measure.
He previously voted against two provisions in a sweeping gun package last month, which Democrats approved in a largely party-line vote. He objected to the part that called for banning civilian use of high-capacity magazines, and the provision that would strengthen safe storage of guns in homes where a minor can access the firearms.
Rep. Tom O’Halleran (D-Ariz.)
O’Halleran told Politico last week that he wanted to review the final text of the assault weapons ban before deciding how to vote. He was particularly interested in ensuring that the measure protects the Second Amendment.
Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.)
Schrader voted against the rule on Friday.
He’s suggested voting for a ban would hurt Democrats, pointing to elections won by Republicans after then-President Clinton signed an assault weapons ban in 1994.
“This is a bill that destroyed the Democrats in ‘94. I guess, do we really have a death wish list as Democrats?” Schrader previously told Politico.
Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.)
Thompson in June said he “would be inclined” to support the ban.
“I have been on both ends of an assault weapon as a Vietnam combat veteran, so I understand that these types of weapons have no place on our streets,” said Thompson, who heads the Democrats’ anti-gun violence task force. “Depending on the language, I would be inclined to vote for the bill.”
In 2013, Thompson published 15 policy recommendations to help avert gun violence — one of which was a federal ban on assault weapons.
Rep. Stanford Bishop (D-Ga.)
Bishop, who has served in the House since 1993, told Politico last week “in all likelihood I would support it,” referring to the assault weapons ban.
The Georgia Democrat has supported gun legislation in the past, voting for a sweeping gun package, red-flag law and a gun safety bill this Congress.
Rep. Jared Golden (D-Maine)
Golden voted against the rule on Friday and is expected to vote against the assault weapons ban.
Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.)
Bush told The Washington Post last month that while she would vote for the assault weapons should it be brought to the floor, but noted that she has reservations about the impact the measure will have on the criminal code.
That concern, the progressive congresswoman said, held her back from signing on as a co-sponsor.
“I am not a co-sponsor because I believe we need to consider the impact that expanding the criminal code, which this bill does, has on people’s lives,” Bush said. “As it stands, arrests, charges, and criminal prosecutions disproportionately harm Black, brown, and Indigenous communities — and Missouri has not been exempt from that.”
Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.)
According to Politico, Slotkin plans to vote for the assault weapons ban when it is brought on the floor despite not signing on as a cosponsor.
In June, she voted against advancing a bill to nationalize red flag laws, and a sweeping gun package that called for raising the minimum age for purchasing a semi-automatic weapon from 18 to 21 and banning civilian use of ammunition magazines with more than 15 rounds.
A spokesman for the congresswoman told The Hill last month that she voted against the rule as a way of expressing frustration regarding how top Democrats handled the gun legislation — specifically how the provisions were included in a single package.
The chamber voted on all provisions and the full package, but only sent the package to the Senate for consideration.
Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas)
Cuellar, who recently beat a progressive challenger in a closely watched primary, has already made clear his opposition to the assault weapons ban.
“I don’t believe in bans on weapons,” he said last month. “Do I believe in certain restrictions? Yes. But a ban on guns? No.”
Cuellar previously supported a bill to nationalize red flag laws, a sweeping firearm package and a gun safety bill.
Stephen Neukam contributed.