“Today, our Democratic Majority will take up and pass the Assault Weapons Ban legislation: a crucial step in our ongoing fight against the deadly epidemic of gun violence in our nation,” Pelosi said in a letter to members of her caucus.
Moderate and vulnerable Democrats had been pushing for a vote on the policing legislation before they leave town in an effort to rebut GOP attacks over defunding the police, but members of the CBC had concerns and have been pushing for accountability language.
The deal to try to combine both pieces of legislation came together late Thursday night, and was negotiated between Pelosi, Congressional Black Caucus Chairwoman Joyce Beatty of Ohio, and moderate Democratic Rep. Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey. But other members of the Congressional Black and Progressive caucuses were frustrated that they were kept out of the loop, which is ultimately why Democratic leadership decided to separate the bills.
Members of the Congressional Black Caucus held a meeting Friday morning and sources say many were frustrated to not be given equal negotiating power.
“This was supposed to happen in several weeks to give time for us to negotiate stronger police accountability measures,” a staffer of a CBC member told CNN. “Then they sprung this deal on us in the dead of night without any hearings, committee or time for members to read the text much less debate.”
When asked about the disagreement by CNN, Beatty denied there was problems within her caucus.
“There is no disappointment with the Congressional Black Caucus,” she said. “We have a big tent. And what I am most proud of, is that we were able to go today and take a leadership role. Look at where we were 48 hours ago.”
She added: “There was no failure here.”
The House is slated to depart Washington for a month-long recess starting Friday afternoon. Pelosi could call lawmakers back into town before September for specific circumstances, something she would likely if Senate Democrats pass a separate bill on climate change and prescription drug pricing in the coming weeks.
House Democrats held a procedural vote open for more than an hour on Friday while Pelosi, Congressional Black Caucus members, Gottheimer and others huddled on the House floor to negotiate. Ultimately, the news broke during the vote that leadership was splitting the package.
“This is an ultra-deadly weapon, engineered to kill enemy soldiers on the battlefield,” said the committee chairwoman, Democratic Rep. Carolyn Maloney of New York. “Yet the gun industry has flooded our neighborhoods, our schools, and even our churches and synagogues with these deadly weapons and has gotten rich doing it.”
The committee also released the finding of their investigation, which alleges gun manufactures selling assault-style rifles have employed questionable marketing tactics, including appealing to White supremacists, “preying” on the masculinity of young men, and running advertisements that mimic video games.
This story has been updated with additional developments Friday.
CNN’s Melanie Zanona and Josh Campbell contributed to this report.