Carlos Curbelo pledges to back Stephanie Murphy’s CDC gun violence research bill

Carlos Curbelo and Stephanie Murphy

In a potential breakthrough bipartisan agreement on gun issues following last week’s horrendous high school mass murder in Parkland, Republican Congressman Carlos Curbelo tweeted his support for a bill Democratic U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy is pushing to renew federal research into gun violence.

The apparent deal was struck via Twitter late Friday and Saturday after U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar signaled his openness to allow the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to research gun violence prevention.

Also, New York Republican U.S. Rep. Bob Goodlatte, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said, in an interview taped Friday for C-SPAN’s “Newsmakers” show to be aired Sunday, that he would support lifting the ban on such research by the CDC.

Both Azar and Goodlatte were referring to the so-called “Dickey Amendment,” offered in 1996 by then-U. S. Rep. Jay Dickey, an Arkansas Republican, and approved into law banning CDC research into gun violence.

Late Friday, Curbelo, of Kendall, tweeted “@CDCgov should have never been banned from looking into gun violence as a public health issue. Glad to hear @SecAzar & @RepGoodlatte agree the time has come to end the ban. Let’s get it done.”

Murphy, of Winter Park, responded an hour later, “Agreed, @RepCurbelo. My bill, the Gun Violence Research Act, or HR1478, would permanently repeal the #Dickey Amendment. I would welcome your cosponsorship to make this a bipartisan effort.”

Later Friday, Curbelo’s office replied through his Twitter account: “[email protected] gave up Twitter for Lent, but he’s in! — #TeamCurbelo.

And Murphy finished the exchange Saturday, with, “Thanks @RepCurbelo & #TeamCurbelo for making our bill to repeal the #DickeyAmendment bipartisan. By working together, we can address this very serious public safety crisis and save lives. I’m hopeful more Republicans will join our bipartisan effort. Let’s get this done.”

Both Murphy and Curbelo could use a little bipartisan cred. Both are running for re-election in very tough districts. Murphy’s Florida’s Congressional District 7 leans Republican in voter registration, and Curbelo’s Florida’s 26th Congressional District leans Democrat. Both have significant opposition lining up to take them on in November.

Murphy’s House Resolution 1478 has 122 co-sponsors, all Democrats so far, starting with Orlando U.S. Rep. Val Demings and including all of Florida’s Democratic members of Congress. So Curbelo, if he follows through, would be the first Republican sponsor.

Murphy naturally also would welcome Goodlatte’s cosponsorship, if he commits to follow through on his statement. The bill is not assigned to Goodlatte’s Judiciary Committee, though.

Its only assignment has been to the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, and it has not been scheduled for a hearing.

Scott Powers

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at [email protected].


  • Andrew Nappi

    February 18, 2018 at 9:57 am

    CDC research on this will be as slanted as federal research on global warming. It will say whatever the entrenched liberal career beaurocrats want it to say.

  • glenn pickard

    February 19, 2018 at 12:36 pm

    its easy to see why the NRA and the Republicans have gotten away with no controls on guns when you read statements by Andrew Nappi. He offers no solutions, he just wants the free flow of guns to anyone to continue, as Trump and the NRA do, regardless of how many school massacres there may be.

Comments are closed.


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