THE HILL — Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) blocked a GOP-push to link a larger fight over veterans in the FBI background check system to a spending bill currently before the Senate.
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) tried to bring up an amendment to block the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) from using funds to report veterans to the National Instant Background Check System unless a court has determined that they are a danger to themselves or others.
“There appears to be a troubling trend within the VA,” Grassley said Tuesday. “The VA does not even determine whether veterans are a danger to themselves or others before reporting the names to that gun ban list.”
Grassley’s amendment was backed by GOP Sen. Joni Ernst (Iowa), Jim Inhofe (Okla.), Jerry Moran (Kansas) and Pat Roberts (Kansas).
Durbin, however, objected to Grassley’s amendment, saying it would only create “a bigger problem.”
“I do not dispute what the senator from Iowa suggested, that some of these veterans may be suffering from a mental illness not serious enough to disqualify them … but certainly many of them do,” he added.
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