White House spokesman Josh Earnest is denouncing as "a shameful display of cowardice" the Senate's failure to pass gun control measures in the aftermath of the mass shooting in Orlando, Florida.

Earnest told CNN on Tuesday that the Republican-led chamber's blocking of four gun control proposals Monday does nothing to keep extremists from acquiring guns.

He said that "what we saw last night was a shameful display of cowardice," after the June 12 shootings at an Orlando nightclub that killed 49 and injured dozens. The shooter, Omar Mateen, identified himself as an Islamic soldier. He died in a gun battle with police.

Earnest said lawmakers lament gun violence but "don't do anything about it." He said that while no bill can prevent all gun violence, "why wouldn't we do more?"

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