Ivanka Trump quietly lobbies Congress on gun control: Report

August 14, 2019

Ivanka Trump is working the phones to push for gun control.

The president’s eldest daughter has been calling members of Congress to gauge support for new gun restrictions amid lawmakers’ August recess, Axios reported. Her move comes amid a wider Democrat push for gun legislation after twin mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio.

Ivanka fights for gun reform

The shock of the back-to-back tragedies, which left more than 30 dead, seems to have pushed the needle on gun control far beyond previous shootings. Some Republicans, including President Donald Trump, have even shown signs of buckling to the left’s gun agenda.

Indeed, lawmakers have called on Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to cancel the August recess to vote on emergency gun control reform. And while Congress rests, the first daughter has been working to clear roadblocks to more gun legislation in September, The Washington Examiner reports.

Ivanka reportedly called Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) to discuss the universal background check bill that he drafted with Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) in 2013 after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut. The bill would expand background checks to almost all private firearms sales.

“[Ivanka] was trying to get a sense of what bills are out there. She had him explain how they drafted the bill, where it stands, and what changes needed to be made in order for it to pass,” a Manchin aide said, according to the New York Post.

A White House official told Axios that Ivanka “has trusted relationships on both sides of the aisle and she is working in concert with the White House policy and legislative teams.”

Trump, GOP softening on gun control

Ivanka did not express a White House position on the bill to Manchin. But after the shootings, she urged Congress in social media posts to pass gun control reforms including “red flag” laws and universal background checks, which she said would not contradict the Second Amendment.

“Congress should enact Red Flag laws/Extreme Risk Protection Orders in every state, increase resources dedicated to mental health support nationwide[,] and close background check loopholes. You can strongly support and defend the 2nd Amendment while calling for these common sense, and long-overdue reforms,” she wrote on her Instagram story.

Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner, sometimes referred to as “Jarvanka,” have been seen as more liberal influences within the White House. But President Donald Trump has also signaled interest in gun control reforms, and he reportedly phoned Manchin himself last week to ask that he prepare legislation before Congress returns from the August recess.

The president has also called for “intelligent background checks” and “red flag” laws, which would allow the government to take away firearms from individuals considered a threat by friends or family members, The Hill reports.

Meanwhile, Democrats have ratcheted up the pressure to “do something” on Majority Leader McConnell, who has been resting at home in Louisville, Kentucky after fracturing his shoulder. McConnell has said that an assault weapons ban will be “front and center” when Congress reconvenes and that red flag laws and background checks will “lead the discussion.”

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Matthew Boose

Matthew Boose is a staff writer for Conservative Institute. He has a Bachelor's degree from Stony Brook University and has contributed to The Daily Caller and The Stony Brook Press.