Braley: New gun control laws can’t wait

U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa said Congress should not wait for another gun-related tragedy to get some sort of new gun control legislation in place.

“This country cannot afford another gun violence tragedy to motivate Congress to do its job,” Braley said during a teleconference with Iowa reporters Wednesday.

Braley said he was encouraged by the Senate’s support to move forward with a test vote on expanded background checks for guns. The measure would most likely run into opposition the Republican controlled House. Braley said he hopes the leadership in the House would eventually get the matter to the floor for debate.

“I hope that the House will take up reasonable, common sense solutions so that we can address this problem,” Braley said.

Family members of the victims of the Newton, Conn. school shooting visited the House and Senate this week and Braley said that “can have a significant impact” on gun legislation changes.

Braley addressed the question of gun control being off the national map since it’s been several months since the Connecticut shootings.

“This is such a deep problem in our country that we can’t afford to let our inattention deprive us of the opportunity to finally address this problem in a meaningful way,” Braley said. “Because too much is at stake and one more death to gun violence is too many.”

Braley has introduced a bill with bipartisan support to try to keep air traffic control towers in the country from closing due to cuts from the sequestration. Dubuque’s tower is one of the 149 towers scheduled to close.

Braley is also working against an expected jump in interest rates for students loans. He said this would add to the mountain of debt many students leave college with already.

“I have supported efforts to try to keep those interest rates low,” Braley said.