Republicans Mitt Romney, Mitch McConnell criticized after Uvalde college shooting for taking NRA money - The Washington publish

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within the hours after as a minimum 19 little ones and two teachers had been killed at an fundamental college in Uvalde, Tex., in the deadliest mass shooting at an American faculty in practically a decade, Republicans in Congress joined the area in mourning the latest gun massacre.

however as some provided their ideas and prayers to the families of the victims, critics had been quick to factor out the hundreds of thousands of dollars that GOP lawmakers have taken from the national Rifle association in contributions over the years.

Nineteen current or fresh Republican senators, including Senate Minority chief Mitch McConnell (Ky.) and Sens. Rob Portman (Ohio) and Joni Ernst (Iowa), have taken at the least $1 million each in campaign contributions from the NRA over their careers, based on information compiled via the Brady crusade to evade Gun Violence in 2019.

among the others is Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), who expressed how "grief overwhelms the soul" in an assault like the one in Texas, and acknowledged on Twitter that his present of prayers and condolences had been "grossly insufficient" and that solutions were essential. It didn't take long for critics and liberals to slam Romney — who became the 2012 Republican presidential nominee and who spoke at the NRA's annual convention that yr — for taking greater than $13 million in NRA contributions, based on Brady.

"Grief does not overwhelm the soul essentially as a great deal as $13M from the NRA overwhelms your checking account," wrote Jemele Hill, a contributing author for the Atlantic. "The reply you are looking for is the cash you continue to take."

Hours after the mass shooting in Uvalde, President Biden urged Congress to conclusion the "carnage" of gun violence, pleading with lawmakers to "arise to the gun lobby" and pass "standard-sense" gun legal guidelines.

"What in God's identify do you want an assault weapon for except to kill someone?" he requested in a Tuesday tackle to the nation.

Biden, who turned into tapped by way of President Barack Obama to be his element person on weapons after the Sandy Hook shooting in Newtown, Conn., cited that he simply returned from Asia, the place mass shootings do not happen with the identical frequency.

"Why are we willing to reside with this carnage?" he talked about. "Why do we maintain letting this take place? where in God's identify is our backbone?"

Senate Majority chief Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) moved Tuesday evening to position two condominium-handed gun-manage bills on the chamber's calendar.

parents and neighborhood members in Uvalde, Tex., scrambled for tips in regards to the scholar victims of the Robb fundamental college mass shooting on may also 24. (Video: John Farrell/The Washington submit)

Spokespeople for McConnell, Portman and Ernst didn't immediately reply to requests for remark Wednesday. Romney spokesperson Brianna Manzelli informed The Washington post that the on-line criticism toward the senator became off-base.

"no one owns Senator Romney's vote, as evidenced by way of his checklist of independence within the Senate," she mentioned in a press release.

The mass taking pictures at the elementary faculty, and Biden's plea for lawmakers to push back on the gun lobby, have magnified attention on the NRA, which is preserving its annual assembly over Memorial Day weekend in Houston, located a number of hundred miles faraway from Uvalde. The event is the greatest gun lobby gathering this year and is derived after cancellations due to the coronavirus pandemic. it'll function talks from a gaggle that contains former president Donald Trump, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.). Abbott is expected to be in Uvalde on Wednesday before his talk at the NRA convention in Houston.

The NRA, which boasts more than 5 million contributors, is fighting a lawsuit by way of the ny attorney frequent accusing the neighborhood's executives of misspending millions of bucks.

Many critics went on social media to checklist how a great deal funds the Republican lawmakers have reportedly taken from the NRA, but comedy writer Bess Kalb took it one step further and quote-tweeted the entire responses from GOP senators with how lots they have got acquired in crusade contributions from the gun foyer.

After McConnell tweeted how he turned into "horrified and heartbroken" by the taking pictures in Uvalde and how the nation changed into praying for those affected, Kalb, the govt producer of Amazon prime's "yearly Departed," used the Brady statistics for her one-sentence reply: "$1,267,139 from the NRA."

Kalb persevered to respond to Republicans providing their concepts and prayers — Ernst, Portman, Sen. Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.) — with the million-greenback figures in NRA contributions they have got received.

Others quickly adopted the online vogue. In an interview with Fox news on Tuesday night, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) observed that "there are not ample words to specific the horror" of what happened in Texas. He echoed Romney in acknowledging condolences weren't sufficient, whereas additionally suggesting that greater may be carried out.

"undoubtedly, my truthful condolences, however that's now not satisfactory. this is depressing. some thing this horrific, children being slaughtered of their college, it doesn't get worse than this," he spoke of. "once again, my honest condolences to these households."

Nina Turner, a progressive chief who misplaced a Democratic fundamental in Ohio previous this month, highlighted Johnson's commentary about how "it doesn't worsen than this" and reminded individuals that he's taken greater than $1.2 million in campaign contributions from the NRA.

"It does, definitely," she wrote on Wednesday. "The adults with vigour (you) don't do anything because the NRA paid you $1,269,486 to do nothing. You sacrificed these little ones's lives for $1.2 million."

After Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-Tex.), whose district contains Uvalde, asked for constituents to "pray for our households" and quoted a Bible verse, critics resurfaced a 2021 tweet during which the congressman proudly stated he had "voted NO on two gun manage measures within the residence."

"seasoned-tip: Jesus would need you to make use of your power as a lawmaker to behave to stop gun violence in Uvalde as a substitute of quoting Bible versus while taking money from the NRA," talked about Shannon Watts, founder of the gun violence prevention nonprofit mothers Demand motion for Gun feel in the united states.

Others took intention at these GOP lawmakers who expressed their anger at the shooting days earlier than speakme at the NRA conference in Houston. When Cruz tweeted that he and his spouse, Heidi, had been "fervently lifting up in prayer the children and households in the horrific capturing in Uvalde," Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) wondered why the Texas senator — who has permitted at the least $176,000 in NRA contributions — turned into nonetheless slated to communicate at the convention.

"which you can do greater than pray," she tweeted. "faith without works is dead."

Adela Suliman and Isaac Arnsdorf contributed to this record


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