News Wrap: GOP gun and anti-terror bill faces House opposition

In our news wrap Wednesday, members of the Freedom Caucus came out against a Republican bill that would bar gun sales to those on a terror watchlist. That leaves House Speaker Paul Ryan without the votes to pass the measure. Also, a long-awaited report on Britain’s march to battle with Iraq painted a damning picture of the decision to join the war effort.

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  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives are going to investigate the FBI's inquiry into Hillary Clinton's e-mail practices. They announced today that FBI Director James Comey will testify tomorrow on why he recommended no criminal charges be filed.

    Attorney General Loretta Lynch will be called before the Congress next week. We will focus on the reasoning behind the FBI's decision later in the program.

    A Republican gun and anti-terror bill has run into trouble in the House. It bars gun sales to anyone on a terror watch list if prosecutors can prove probable cause of a potential crime. Some 40 members of the Freedom Caucus came out against it today, even though the National Rifle Association endorsed a similar bill in the Senate. That leaves House Speaker Paul Ryan without the votes to pass the measure for now.

    REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), Speaker of the House: We have members from both sides of the aisle who want to make improvements, who want to make changes to the bill. We want to make sure we get it right. The last thing we're going to do is rush something to the floor that we don't have right. And, again, this matters to us. This is the Constitution. This means we get this right. We do not want to violate a citizen's due process rights.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Meanwhile, House Democrats called again for much stronger gun legislation. Congressman John Lewis of Georgia spoke at a Capitol rally today.

    REP. JOHN LEWIS (D), Georgia: We cannot be patient. We have come to that point where we're trying to say to members of Congress, all of our members, you must do something. You must act, and act now. Not tomorrow, but now.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Democrats staged a sit-in on the House floor last month, but so far, Speaker Ryan has turned aside their demands for votes.

    A long-awaited report today painted a damning picture of Britain's march to war with Iraq in 2003. The government-commissioned probe found the legal basis for military action was "far from satisfactory." It concluded that Britain joined the war effort before all peaceful options had been exhausted, and then Prime Minister Tony Blair overestimated his ability to influence U.S. policy.

    But Blair today stood by his decisions.

  • TONY BLAIR, Former Prime Minister, United Kingdom:

    Some of the intelligence has turned out to be wrong. The planning wasn't done properly. I have to accept those criticisms. I accept responsibility for them, but I think people want me to go one step further, and this is my problem. It's a very fundamental problem, and I know it causes a lot of difficulty, even with people who might support me otherwise. They say, no, we want you to apologize for the decision. I can't do that.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    British combat forces left Iraq in 2009, after losing 179 dead.

    In Syria, the military announced a unilateral three-day truce to mark the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. State TV showed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad at prayer services in Homs. Government forces recaptured the city earlier this year. Rebel groups said fighting continued elsewhere.

    A judge in South Africa sentenced Paralympian Oscar Pistorius today to six years in prison for murdering his girlfriend in 2013. The double amputee could have gotten 15 years. Pistorius stood silently in the court in Pretoria, as a judge handed down the sentence. She called him — quote — "a fallen hero."

    Back in this country, a congressional commission reports the Veterans Affairs health care system is still plagued by — quote — "profound deficiencies." It finds quality of care differs widely, and that veterans still face long waits. The findings come two years after revelations that VA officials falsified paperwork about wait times.

    And European markets slipped again, amid concerns about Britain leaving the E.U., but Wall Street made modest progress. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 78 points to close at 17918. The Nasdaq rose 36 points, and the S&P 500 added 11.

    Still to come on the "NewsHour": protests break out in Baton Rouge after video of another police shooting emerges; what's driving the president to keep more troops in Afghanistan; a deeper look at the legal standard used in the Clinton e-mail investigation; and much more.

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