STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Will the spending bill include a background check measure? It's still unclear

Lawmakers in Congress are deciding Tuesday what to do about ...

Posted: Mar 20, 2018 7:32 PM
Updated: Mar 20, 2018 7:32 PM

Lawmakers in Congress are deciding Tuesday what to do about a background check bill that has bipartisan support but has been stuck in limbo for weeks in the Senate, just hours after another school shooting is in the national spotlight.

Negotiations continued behind the scenes on whether to include a bill to incentivize reporting to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System -- known around Capitol Hill as "Fix NICS" -- in a massive, must-pass spending bill that needs approval by Friday night to avert another government shutdown.

"I have not heard confirmation but I certainly hope so," said Sen. John Cornyn, the lead Republican on the bill, when asked if Fix NICS will be folded into the spending measure.

RELATED: Armed student dead after he shoots 2 others at Maryland high school, sheriff says

In December, the US House of Representatives passed a similar bill, which encourages better enforcement of the NICS. It was paired with other legislation that was widely supported by Republicans and would loosen concealed-carry laws.

But a Senate version, which doesn't include the concealed-carry provision, has been stalled for weeks, even after a gunman killed 17 people at a high school in Florida last month. While the bill has more than 70 cosponsors and was co-introduced by Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy, Democrats have been pushing for a process that would open up the bill to debate and possibly more gun-related amendments.

Republicans have refused to hold a standalone vote, and both sides are pointing fingers at each other for the standstill.

Pressure is now mounting by some in both parties to tack Fix NICS onto the spending bill, but the idea is also facing opposition.

Murphy, the lead Democrat on the bill, predicted Democratic leadership won't cut a deal that has Fix NICS without any other gun measures. "I think there is broad-based opposition in the Democratic caucus to Fix NICS being buried in the budget without any other reforms," he said.

Republican Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana, who's not a cosponsor on the bill, said it's a matter that should be debated separately.

"I think they're making a big mistake if they start tacking on extraneous issues to the budget," he said. "We have enough trouble doing a budget by itself. We haven't had one since Moses walked the earth. It's embarrassing."

Another potential hurdle is that House Republicans would also have to agree to include Fix NICS in the spending bill, since it must first be passed by the House.

House Speaker Paul Ryan said at a news conference Tuesday morning that he'd like to get Fix NICS done, but when asked if his GOP caucus will support it without the loosened concealed-carry laws that accompanied it in December, Ryan said that was part of the negotiations.

"That's something we're discussing with our friends on the other side," Ryan said.

West Lafayette
Broken Clouds
76° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 76°
Kokomo
Clear
69° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 69°
Rensselaer
Scattered Clouds
66° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 66°
Fowler
Scattered Clouds
66° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 66°
Williamsport
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 66°
Crawfordsville
Scattered Clouds
68° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 68°
Frankfort
Clear
67° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 67°
Delphi
Clear
71° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 71°
Monticello
Clear
71° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 71°
Logansport
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 68°
Warm-up again with increasing humidity & risk of storms.
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 75862

Reported Deaths: 3069
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion16088730
Lake7688278
Elkhart492685
Allen4002163
St. Joseph357883
Hamilton2829104
Vanderburgh202213
Hendricks1927108
Cass18029
Johnson1789119
Porter135539
Clark128749
Tippecanoe123811
Madison100665
LaPorte93130
Howard91365
Kosciusko86812
Bartholomew81747
Floyd80948
Marshall79323
Monroe76631
Delaware74552
Dubois70812
Vigo69911
Noble68829
Boone68746
Hancock68339
Jackson5965
Warrick58830
Shelby56527
LaGrange56310
Grant52930
Dearborn51228
Morgan49334
Clinton4444
Henry40620
Wayne38510
White37611
Montgomery35921
Lawrence35227
Harrison34823
Decatur34132
Putnam3128
Daviess27720
Miami2772
Scott27210
Jasper2552
Greene25434
Franklin24615
DeKalb2384
Gibson2314
Jennings22712
Steuben2133
Ripley2138
Carroll1962
Fayette1947
Perry18713
Posey1790
Starke1787
Wells1742
Orange17424
Fulton1722
Wabash1703
Jefferson1672
Knox1610
Whitley1556
Tipton14312
Washington1421
Sullivan1381
Spencer1373
Clay1245
Huntington1243
Randolph1244
Newton12010
Adams1092
Owen991
Jay920
Rush854
Pulaski811
Fountain742
Brown741
Blackford652
Ohio656
Benton640
Pike590
Vermillion580
Switzerland530
Parke511
Martin480
Crawford450
Union410
Warren241
Unassigned0206

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events