A picture of Senator Charles E. Schumer
Charles S.
Democrat NY

About Sen. Charles
  • Student Success Act—Conference Report

    by Senator Charles E. Schumer

    Posted on 2015-12-08

    submit to reddit

    Read More about Student Success Act--Conference Report

    SCHUMER. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that for the next 20 minutes I be given 4 minutes, Senator Shaheen be given 4 minutes, Senator Blumenthal be given 4 minutes, Senator Feinstein be given 4 minutes, and Senator Murphy be given 4 minutes, concluding in a unanimous consent request.

    The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

    Unanimous Consent Request--S. 551 Mr. SCHUMER. Madam President, like so many Americans, my thoughts are with the families and friends of those affected by the terror in San Bernardino last week. Our hearts go out to the victims and their families.

    As we learn more about the suspects, it is becoming clear that San Bernardino will serve as a sad--but also shocking--reminder of what needs to be done to address what has become known as the terror gap.

    I rise to support that most commonsense proposal to bar individuals on the terrorist watch list from being able to legally get a gun. The GAO found that between 2004 and 2014 suspected terrorists attempted to exploit this loophole. People say: Well, this never happens. Listen to this. Those on the terror watch list tried to purchase guns 2,233 times and succeeded in 2,043 of those--or 91 percent.

    It is absolute insanity that this is not already a restriction we have in place. Given what happened in San Bernardino, it is extra insanity that we are not going to move on this and that we haven't moved on this already. It makes no sense. We can't let a small group-- an influential, powerful lobbying group--make America less safe. Yet many of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle are doing just that. Because the NRA says no, they say no, even though terrorism is a scourge that we have to deal with on many fronts.

    I appreciate my friend from Texas. He says there are certain people on the terrorist watch list who don't belong there. There are a few, but this newly found sympathy for the civil liberties of those who might be causing trouble is surprising. We don't say abolish the criminal justice system because not every single person we convict is guilty--although 99 percent probably are or some large percentage. Why are we doing it here? Are we saying if there are two or three people on this terrorist watch list--20 or 30 who shouldn't be there and they have the right to appeal and correct it; I have done it for constituents--then we should let the other thousands who belong on that watch list and who present a danger to America buy guns? It makes no sense.

    I ask my friends on the other side of the aisle: Why should terrorists like the ones who perpetrated the heinous attack in Paris or the ones who did in San Bernardino be allowed to buy a gun? No red herring argument will work. This is plain common sense at a time when we need common sense, and it should not be a partisan measure. Guess who introduced this idea originally? Not Barack H. Obama but George W. Bush in 2007.

    The vast majority of gun owners may have a right to have a gun, and I would protect their right to have a gun if they are not felons or adjudicated mentally ill or spousal abusers; therefore, everyone is for it. The other side says no. So I hope now that it has become-- The PRESIDING OFFICER. The time of the Senator has expired.

    Mr. SCHUMER. I ask unanimous consent for 30 additional seconds.

    The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

    Mr. SCHUMER. Now that it has become clear since our last vote that the two in San Bernardino have terrorist ties, I hope when Senator Murray propounds the unanimous consent request, the other side will support it.

    I yield the floor.

    The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Flake). The Senator from New Hampshire.

  • submit to reddit
  • Register your constituent account to respond

    Constituent Register