But the Connecticut Democrat was hoping for a future compromise.
“The good news is that I am still talking with fellow Republican colleagues about different proposals to expand background checks, and I am committed to doing something about it,” he said.
Murphy and Cornyn had embarked on long-term discussions on narrower proposals to strengthen the background check systems for gun buyers. Two bills passed by the House to significantly expand background checks have virtually stalled in the Senate. Despite overwhelming public support for the background check proposals, the still intact legislative obstruction requires the support of Republicans to move any gun control bill forward.
Cornyn told CNN it was Murphy who had ended the talks. “Unfortunately, we couldn’t find an agreed outcome, so basically he suggested to me that there was no real reason to keep talking at this time,” he said.
In the absence of any compromise, current gun control proposals are likely headed for Republican obstruction, despite Murphy’s best efforts to avoid one. He had been working on the phone during spring break, calling what he considered at the time to be half of the 50-member GOP conference.
Murphy’s announcement is in line with a self-imposed deadline for a deal. He told POLITICO in an interview in late April that he was aiming for a compromise bill by late spring or early summer.
But if that was not feasible, “at some point you will have to call [Republicans’] bluff, ”he said at the time.