Its a Whole Different Issue – and its an important one

by Rachel Baker on April 5, 2014

Editors Note: Typically, we try not to post stories/articles that have a very definitive political leaning – most political stories have several different links showing the story from several different sources. We do this because its important to have all sides. That said, the article we are referencing from MSNBC has links from Roll Call which is non-partisan, as well as links to the actual text. Thusly, we are not going to provide any further links.

Apparently, John Boehner answered a reporter’s question with a very incorrect answer about a bill the House had just been working on regarding mental health issues. In a press conference he said there was a provision for mental health and firearms in this bill. This is not true. And its important for people to know this.

Sound bites matter, but to be a more intellectual voting people, we should really know what is actually in bills, not just what the politicians want us to think. Its quite possible the Speaker was a bit confused, but both parties have a horrible habit of only talking about what they think we want to hear, not what is actually fact.

The bill, according to one of the writers of the bill, does nothing to keep guns out of the hands of the severely mental ill.

So, there’s that.

…during House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) press conference, a reporter noted McHugh’s comments and asked the House leader whether this is an issue Congress should address. Boehner replied:

“Well, there’s no question that those with mental health issues should be prevented from owning weapons or being able to purchase weapons. In the so-called ‘doc fix’ that passed here, there was funding for a pilot project dealing with mental health issues and weapons from both the Senate side and the House side. There are two programs that are being funded in there. The bill went to the president yesterday. This issue we need to continue to look at to find a way to keep weapons out of the hands of people who should not have them.”

The “doc fix” bill related to Medicare reimbursement rates for physicians, but it’s always a pretty big bill with plenty of unrelated provisions. This year, there was quite a bit of controversy surrounding how the bill passed – House GOP leaders played a fast one on their own members and conservatives were right to be annoyed – but I never heard a word about funding for a pilot project dealing with mental health issues and firearms.

And that’s surprising. Usually, any federal measure related in any way to gun ownership is the subject of considerable scrutiny. But there was the House Speaker yesterday, assuring the public in the wake of another mass shooting that lawmakers just acted on a policy related to gun violence and mental health.

It’s enough to make one wonder: does the provision Boehner referenced actually exist?

Roll Call reports this morning that according to the lawmaker who wrote the measure, no, it doesn’t.

Read the whole article here:

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