House Democrat calls out CNN anchor for pushing “false equivalency” on gun violence legislation

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Citation From the August 12 edition of CNN's CNN Newsroom

POPPY HARLOW (ANCHOR): More than a week after two more mass shootings, and lawmakers have taken no action on gun control. Right now, it is weeks before either the House or the Senate will be back in session. More than 200 Democrats in Congress have signed a letter calling on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to bring the Senate back right now. McConnell has yet to commit to any proposals, and President Trump has waffled on measures like universal background checks that he has previously said he'd support.


HARLOW: The majority leader, Mitch McConnell, has said that this issue, gun control, will be front and center when Congress comes back into session. Let's wait, let's see if anything is different this time. You've signed this letter. Your fellow Democrat in Congress, in the House, Al Green, said on this program to Jim [Sciutto] just last week that it's a mistake for you guys not to be in Washington right now. Is it a leadership mistake in the Democratic Party not to bring the House back to session right now? To be on the floor debating this?

REP. BRENDAN BOYLE (ASSISTANT HOUSE MAJORITY WHIP): Well certainly when it comes to background checks legislation, bear in mind in the House, we passed that legislation exactly six months ago. Every single Democrat voted for it and several Republicans.

HARLOW: Yep. Understood. HR 8 and HR 11, 12. 

BOYLE: Yes. So, if I may finish, the first thing --

HARLOW: No, I hear you, but should you be there -- go ahead.

BOYLE: The first thing is for Mitch McConnell to call back the Senate and move our background checks bill which I believe does have a chance of passing the Senate, maybe not the 60 votes but certainly clearing the 51-vote threshold. So that's really the first thing and has been the main focus. I would be willing to go back to the House. I'm from Philadelphia, where by the way -- and I know you brought up the mass shootings that happened in El Paso and Dayton, and understandably so -- let's not forget that right here in my hometown of Philadelphia, where I represent, 12 people were shot over this weekend. So the Philadelphias of the country, the Chicagoes, the other places where we have a slow-rolling mass shooting every single week also need attention, which is why Washington needs to act. 

Now, as far as my willingness to go back to Washington, I would be willing to go back, but let's not allow that to delve into some sort of false equivalency. Mitch McConnell has been in the pocket of the NRA for far too long doing their bidding. He needs to stop blocking the background checks bill and to bring back the Senate. Move it, so that way we can finally put it in front of the president.