MARCH 2, 2019


House Passes Universal Background Checks for Guns

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Bipartisan Background Checks Act, which would require background checks for all firearm sales, including those sold at gun shows and online. The bill, HR 8, also prohibits firearms transfers by a person who is not a licensed dealer. However, it does exclude “gifts to family members and transfers for hunting, target shooting, and self-defense,” according to the House Judiciary Committee website.

The House passed the bill on a 240-190 vote. Eight Republicans crossed the aisle to vote with the Democrats, while two Democrats — Reps. Jared Golden of Maine and Collin Peterson of Minnesota — voted with Republicans against the legislation.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, who voted to pass the Bipartisan Background Checks Act (H.R. 8), said: “97% of Americans support universal background checks for gun purchases. The passage of this bipartisan common-sense legislation is long overdue to help save lives and make our communities more safe.”

This is the first gun control bill that Congress has considered in nearly 25 years.

The background checks legislation goes to the GOP-controlled Senate where it faces stiff opposition, and President Donald Trump — who has strong backing from the National Rifle Association and other gun rights groups — has vowed to veto the bill if it ever reaches his desk.


Senator Hirono Reintroduces Child Care for Working Families Act

Senator Mazie K. Hirono reintroduced the Child Care for Working Families Act, which seeks to expand access to high-quality, affordable early childhood programs for working and middle class families.

Representative Bobby Scott (D-Va.), chairman of the House Committee on Education and Labor, introduced a companion bill in the House of Representatives with Representative Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan (CNMI-AL) and 96 House members.

“Child care is foundational for future academic and social success, yet remains unaffordable and unavailable for many working and middle class families in Hawaii – who face the highest cost of living in the country,” Senator Hirono said. “At nearly $700 per month, child care is the second highest household expense after housing for most families – surpassing the amount they spend on food, utilities, transportation or health care. The Child Care for Working Families Act represents a long-term investment in our keiki to ensure that every family can access high-quality, affordable early learning and child care programs.”

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