“For myself, I’m comfortable with the framework and if the legislation ends up reflecting the framework, I’ll be supportive,” McConnell (R-Ky.) told reporters.
McConnell’s support would boost any bill’s chances of passing the 50-50 Senate, where most legislation needs 60 votes to advance.
Ten Republican senators signed on to a framework of a deal when it was announced Sunday: John Cornyn of Texas, Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Roy Blunt of Missouri, Rob Portman of Ohio, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Richard Burr of North Carolina, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, Susan Collins of Maine, Mitt Romney of Utah and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana.
Of the ten, Blunt, Burr, Portman and Toomey are retiring after this fall’s midterm elections. Cassidy, Collins, Cornyn, Graham and Tillis aren’t up for reelection until 2026.
Other Republicans have also indicated they may support the bipartisan legislation, including Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.
“I’m encouraged to see the announcement from the 20 Senators who have been working to reach agreement on gun safety legislation—a good first step,” she tweeted Tuesday. “What has been described so far appears to be fairly reasonable, and I look forward to seeing the details of its final form.”
According to the Sunday framework announcement, the bill would encourage states to enact red-flag laws, expand mental health services in all 50 states, extend background checks to include juvenile records of would-be gun buyers under 21, and increase funds for school security and mental health programs.
It would not include an assault weapons ban or increase the legal age to purchase semi-automatic rifles from 18 to 21.
“Our goal is to get the text done this week and then to get it on the [Senate] floor next week. I talked to Senator [Chuck] Schumer this morning, he’s good with that,” Cornyn, the lead Republican negotiator, told Fox News.
“We’re grinding away,” the Texas Republican added.
Later in the day, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), the lead Democratic negotiator, confirmed lawmakers were in the process of drafting the legislation, saying “the heavy lifting is done.”
“All we’re doing now is taking a framework and putting it into legislative text. And I’m confident that we can get there and get there soon,” the Democrat added.
A potential vote on the legislation would come approximately one month after mass shootings at a supermarket in Buffalo and and an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas left 31 people dead. Both gunmen in the shootings used AR-15 military assault rifles.