After Shootings, GOP Pivots to Mental Health Reform

Republican leaders are turning to mental health reform in response to a pair of mass shootings in recent days, putting new focus on getting a bill passed despite concerns on both sides of the aisle and the divisiveness of the gun debate.

After mass shootings in Colorado and California, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) cited the mental health reform bill from Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Pa.) throughout the week when questioned about the Republican response to gun violence.

In an interview with “CBS This Morning” on Thursday, Ryan was pressed about the shootings, with the Speaker responding that many of the shooters are mentally ill and therefore a reform of the mental health system is the right response.

“I don’t want to keep saying the same thing over and over,” Ryan said after the fourth question in a row about actions to take about mass shootings. “But one of the things we’ve noticed: there are mental health issues here.”

In holding up the Murphy mental health bill as a response to the shootings, Ryan is raising expectations that it will actually pass. “We want to see this process all the way through,” Ryan told reporters on Tuesday. “We’re really serious about our mental health legislation,” he added on Thursday.