Two Senators Move to Bring Mental Health Bill to the Senate Floor Following Navy Shooting
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Are we actually going to have a debate on one of the real issues of mass shootings, mental health, instead of just blaming guns offhand?
It seems so. A bi-partisan effort by New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte (R) and Alaska Senator Mark Begich (D) seeks to bring a mental health bill to the floor of the Senate for consideration.
According to a statement issued by the senators,
“We welcome the Majority Leader’s remarks in which he said he was open to considering bringing up mental health legislation. Given the clear connection between recent mass shootings and mental illness, the Senate should not delay bipartisan legislation that would help address this issue. The Mental Health Awareness and Improvement Act previously passed the Senate with near unanimous support, and we urge Leader Reid and Leader McConnell to work together to bring this bill to the Senate floor as a stand-alone bill that could be voted on and passed immediately.”
According to POLITICO, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he is open to the idea of bringing a standalone mental health bill to the Senate.
Ayotte, a Republican, is being heavily targeted by anti-gun efforts in her home state of New Hampshire after she voted against the proposed universal background check law in the Senate in April.
This will mark the first time that the debate on how to prevent mass shootings has taken a legitimate turn away from further regulating firearms and addressing one of the core causes of mass shootings – mental illness.