House Speaker John Boehner told CNN his meeting with the family members of those killed in the Sandy Hook school shootings was "very good."
Several relatives of those who died in the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut last December returned to Capitol Hill six months after the tragedy. The massacre left twenty school children and six educators at Sandy Hook elementary school dead. The group sat down with Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor at the Capitol on Wednesday afternoon to discuss their efforts to push for legislation aimed at reducing gun violence.
Boehner declined to say anything more about the discussion with the group, or about any gun-related legislation coming up in the House this year. Earlier on Wednesday he told reporters at a press conference, "our hearts and souls go out to these families and the tragedy that they've all been though and so they've asked and we're willing to sit down and talk about their interests."
After the meeting in the speaker's Capitol office Cantor, who on another occasion had met with some Newtown family members, told reporters, "I was struck again by the incredible pain that they are going through. I just can't imagine as a parent that kind of pain. My heart goes out to them."
"I thanked them for their courage and willingness to come forward and to talk to us," Cantor said, adding, "I know that they are continuing to seek how to solve the problem and we're going to continue to go and listen to them and work to try to do just that."
One member of the Newtown group who participated in the meeting with Boehner and Cantor declined to comment to CNN, saying the group had to move onto another meeting with a lawmaker.
Some families met earlier in the day with West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, the chief sponsor of legislation strengthening the background check system. That measure failed in the Senate earlier this year but Manchin and other Democratic leaders have renewed efforts to push the bill through Congress. Boehner has repeatedly said the House will not take up the gun issue unless the Senate passes something.
Vice President Joe Biden has scheduled an event for next week to call attention once again to the issue of gun violence.