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tv   U.S. Senate Sen. Sinema on Gun Bill  CSPAN  June 23, 2022 1:58am-2:11am EDT

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to advance the bill will take place thursday. >> i rise today at a time in which families in arizona and across america are scared. for too long they see in unacceptable levels inti the communities. and it threatens their sense of safety and security. the morning after the tragic
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horrible activity at rob elementary school in uvalde texas real. fear when we spoke to the neighbors and friends and checked on our loved ones to make sure they were okay. for decades parents have lived with the unnerving uncertainty of what might happen when they send their children to school or attend worship services, go to the grocery store or let their kids play outside. for too long for political gains in washington on both sides of the aisle have stopped progress towards protecting communities and keeping families safe and secure. commonsense proposals have been tossed aside instead of solutions for mental illness or
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video games or particular types of because that didn't align with and confirm their own predetermined beliefs. it became the path of least resistance but the communities hoacross the country that have experienced senseless violence deserve better than washington politics as usual. the communities deserve a commitment by their leaders to do the hard work of putting aside politics, identifying problems that need solving and working together to common ground and common goals. on may 204th, as news spread of the shooting in uvalde and the 21 beautiful lives cut short, my friend and colleague came to the senate floor and asked the senate one simple question what
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are we doing, why are we here if not tos solve a problem as existential as this. the unthin, and senator murphy had sadly been in a similar place ten years before at sandy hook. that same day i reached out to senator cornyn and senator thom tillis, two friends i've worked with to craft lasting bipartisan solutions managing the crisis at our border and helping ernst veterans access the benefits they've earned. we all planned to get quickly
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together to identify realistic solutions. within one day, we all representing diverse states across the country sat down and started working together. that same day we met with a larger group of 12 bipartisan senators, all of whom were eager to sit down, work together, and find a path forward. those meetings started a four-week process considering and working towards a host of solutions that would save lives, make communities safer, and protect americans' constitutional rights. as we wrote our bill, we viewed our conversations as collaborations, not negotiations. we refused to frame our work as giving something up to getting something in return. and we stayed laser-focused on our shared goal of reducing violence and saving lives across
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american communities. we acknowledged that the root of violence plaguing our communities is complex. it can be partly attributed to criminals with dangerous weapons and attributed to a mental health crisis affecting young people in cities and towns across america. we spent hours carefully considering policy provisions, ensuring that we got the language right and that every policy included in our bill would help save lives, help children learn and grow in healthy, supportive environments, and make the our communities safer, more vibrant places. it was hard work, and it was worth it. together we put aside our differences, focused on our shared values, and crafted a bill that expands resources in schools to help kids grow and learn, where they feel connected to their communities and where they know they can seek help if they need it.
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we boosted mental health resources through more community behavioral health clinics and increased access to telehealth services, ensuring that i had cans and families have being a -- that kids and families have access to care no matter where they live. it includes evidence-based resources and programs that i saw help reduce violence when i was a young social worker in phoenix. our provisions to protect more survivors of domestic violence will reduce the impact of trauma in children's lives all across the country, ensuring that more kids and families grow up in safe homes, free from violence and free from the peter of violence. -- and free from the fear of violence. acknowledging the fact that the overwhelming number of gun owners are law-abiding steps, we crack down on criminals who illegally sell sore purchase
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guns and ensuring that court consistent with due process rights can keep dangerous weapons out of the hands of people who are dangerous to themselves and others. i'm the sister of a police officer, and i grew up in a family of gun owners. i know firsthand how fundamental the second amendment is to families across arizona. arizonans have a constitutional right to bear and keep arms, and that right will not be infringed upon. instead, our bipartisan safer communities act ensures that our background check system works effectively and includes those who have committed dangerous crimes as juveniles or who have a who are of danger violence. protecting the rights of law-abiding americans while reducing familial violence and occurrences of childhood trauma. all of these tools together will give families in arizona and across our country more peace of
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mind so they can trust that their communities are secure and their schools are safe and,ically you the broad -- and critically, the broad bipartisan support of well over 60 senators from across the political spectrum, including both the democrat and majority majority , ensuring that our bill will stand the test of time. over the past few years we've been told time and time again that bipartisanship just isn't possible. and even after proving bipartisan success with our investment and jobs law last year, we continued to be asked by pundits and political purists to accept a new standard by which important policy can only come together on a party line. but that just isn't true. what could be more important than keeping families and
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children safe and secure in their communities and in their schools? the truth is, americans are far more united than today's politics would have you believe. ask our constituents. in arizona, connecticut, texas, north carolina, and every state in between. ask them what they want to see in washington and they'll tell you -- an ability to work together, to solve problems and help them build better lives for themselves and their families. our bipartisan group of senators rejected the notion that legislating must be a zero-sum game with winners on one tally sheet and losers on another. together we provided an example for how washington can and should work. we got out of our comfort zones, we built broad coalitions with unlikely allies, and we refused
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to demonize each other when things got tough. and i sincerely thank senator chris murphy for his passion, senator john cornyn for his leadership, and senator thom tillis for his pragmatism. each of my friends and colleagues brought a unique perspective and expertise that allowed us together to craft the most holistic approach to community violence in nearly 30 years. i also want to thank all of our staffs, especially my legislative director, michael brownley, and my counsel chris voisten, for their tireless hours, including working straight through father's day, to get this bill right. you know, their efforts will save lives, help families across our country feel more secure, and make our schools safer. i promised arizonans that i
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would be an independent leader for our state and that i would ignore the chaos of washington and instead just focus on getting things done. it won't surprise anyone who might be listening today when i tell you that washington hasn't always liked my approach. but our bipartisan bill demonstrates the difference that elected leaders can make in the lives of our constituents when we choose to heal our divisions instead of feed those divisions. our historic legislation proves that bipartisan solutions are possible when we just stay focused on what we were sent to washington to do -- to solve problems, help americans thrive, and ensure that our country remains a safe and secure place to call home. and on this particular bill, my colleagues and i join together with a special sense of purpose -- to honor the lives that were
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tragically lost to senseless violence in uvalde, in buffalo, in tucson, in parkland, in charlestown, at sandy hook, and in communities all across our country. our plan will make american communities safer, and we will help return a sense of security to everyday american families. i couldn't be more grateful for this moment. thank you, connecticut. mr. murphy: mr. president, in the gallery right now listening to the senate debate on the bipartisan safer communities act is one of my interns. her name is sari kaufman. i'm glad to have her as an intern in my office this summer, but sari has a story to tell


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