Nancy Pelosi Says 'People Are Dying' Because Mitch McConnell Is Stalling Gun Legislation: 'Ask Him If He Has Any Regrets'

A visibly angry House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has told reporters Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) was to blame for people dying, because he was getting in the way of approving legislation to curb gun violence.

Following several recent mass shootings, Pelosi expressed her frustration at McConnell for not allowing a vote on a House-passed bill to expand background checks for gun purchases.

McConnell says he would not put any gun legislation to the Senate unless President Donald Trump would sign it into law.

Nancy Pelosi
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is pictured at a Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) ceremony in the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC on September 10, 2019. She has slammed Senator Mitch McConnell over stalled gun legislation. MANDEL NGAN/Getty Images

Pelosi was asked by a reporter on Tuesday if she regretted not bringing back the House in August to keep momentum going on the legislation, which has become more salient in the light of mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio.

Pelosi said: "We did our job. The Senate was supposed to come back, why don't you all get that straight? The Senate did not come back to pass the bill.I'm getting very angry about the silliness of these questions.

"Lives are at stake. Senator McConnell is standing in the way. We passed our bill in February.

"Members had events all over the country to ask him to bring up the bill. Don't ask me what we haven't done. We have done it. And if you are annoyed with my impatience, it's because people are dying because Senator McConnell hasn't acted.

Mitch McConnell
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell during a news briefing after the weekly Senate Republican policy luncheon at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. on September 10, 2019. Alex Wong/Getty Images

"Why don't you go ask him if he has any regrets for all the people who died because he hasn't acted?" she said, according to ABC News.

Newsweek has contacted McConnell's office for comment.

On Tuesday, McConnell did say that White House aides were working on a proposal that the president would sign and that "until that happens, all this is is theatrics."

"These horrendous shootings, in my opinion, deserve a response. I hope we can get something that can actually become the law of the United States of America," McConnell said, according to The Hill.

Pressed on congressional response on gun violence, Speaker Pelosi says, "Senator McConnell hasn't acted. Why don't you go ask him if he has any regrets for all the people who died because he hasn't acted?"

— ABC News (@ABC) September 10, 2019

Following Congress' return from its six-week summer recess, Pelosi's comments form the latest salvo by the Democrats to step up pressure on Senate Republicans and the White House to support gun legislation.

On Tuesday, the House Judiciary Committee passed three bills, including legislation to regulate magazine purchases, restrict criminals convicted of hate crimes from buying weapons, and adopt national "red flag" laws that would allow local authorities to remove firearms from those thought to be a danger, CNN reported.

The bill still needs to be voted on by the full House to advance and the Republican-controlled Senate has not said what gun control legislation, if any, it would accept.

The White House had previously warned it would veto the Congress-passed background checks bill.