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House Democrats Want A New Committee, Too. On Gun Violence.

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 8/10/2015 Jennifer Bendery
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WASHINGTON -- If House Republicans think it's important to create new committees to investigate Planned Parenthood and Hillary Clinton's link to the 2012 Benghazi attack, Democrats have an idea for a better committee: one focused on gun violence.

Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.) introduced a resolution Thursday to create a select committee to study the causes of mass shootings, ways to improve the federal background checks system, connections between access to firearms and people with mental illness, and links between firearms and suicide. It would issue a final report and recommendations, including legislative proposals, within 60 days of the committee being created.

"This House Majority has created committees to bully Planned Parenthood and harass a presidential candidate, all the while allowing mass gun violence to go unchecked and unexamined on their watch," Thompson said in a statement.

"There have been nearly 280 mass shootings since Newtown and Congress has done nothing. No votes have been cast. No bills have been debated. No proposals have even been considered," he said. "This Select Committee can change that."

It's a timely push, given last week's mass shooting in Oregon and, well, all the other mass shootings that keep happening. Congress hasn't done anything to try to stem gun violence. The last time anything happened was in April 2013, when some in the Senate tried, but failed, to tighten background checks on gun sales.

House Republican leaders aren't likely to take up Democrats on their idea. A GOP leadership aide interpreted Democrats' interest in creating another special committee as a sign that the current ones are working.

"The Democrats’ call for a select committee is a tacit acknowledgement that the Select Committee on Benghazi has gotten results despite their partisan efforts to obstruct the investigation at every turn," the aide said.

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