Ted Cruz (left) and Mitt Romney (middle) are among Republicans senators who have accepted millions of dollars from the National Rifle Association (Pictures: AFP/Reuters/Getty Images)

In the wake of the Texas elementary school shooting that left 21 people dead, numerous US lawmakers have offered thoughts and prayers to the victims’ families. Yet some of them are the same politicians who over the years have received millions of dollars from the National Rifle Association (NRA).

Gunman Salvador Ramos’ rampage at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday, killing 19 children and two adults, was the deadliest school shooting since the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in 2012.

It reignited calls by gun control groups for stricter firearms laws to prevent mass shootings in the future. Those efforts have been met with opposition by the NRA, a gun lobbying group with more than five million members across the US.

Every year, the NRA spends roughly $3million on gun rights advocacy, including donating money to Republican lawmakers to oppose gun control measures.

The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence in 2019 compiled a list of Republican senators who have accepted the most cash from the NRA.

At the top of the list, having received more than $13million from the NRA, is Senator Mitt Romney of Utah. Regarding the Texas school shooting, Romney wrote: ‘Grief overwhelms the soul. Children slaughtered. Lives extinguished. Parents’ hearts wrenched. Incomprehensible. I offer prayer and condolence but know that it is grossly inadequate. We must find answers.’

Meanwhile, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, has received more than $176,000 from the NRA. Cruz called the massacre in Uvalde ‘truly horrific’.

‘Heidi and I are lifting up in prayer the entire Uvalde community during this devastating time and we mourn the lives that were taken by this act of evil,’ Cruz tweeted. ‘Thank you to heroic law enforcement & first responders for acting so swiftly.’

Cruz faced backlash from gun control groups and Democratic lawmakers.

‘Fervently lifting Uvalde up in prayer while refusing to do a goddamned thing to stop gun violence is why this keeps happening, especially in Texas,’ tweeted Shannon Watts, the founder of the gun control group Moms Demand Action.

‘In fact @SenTedCruz has been spreading gun lobby lies about the ATF director nominee while trying to stop a federal ghost guns ban.’

Democratic Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez replied to Cruz’s tweet by saying: ‘Aren’t you slated to headline a speaking gig for the NRA in three days – in Houston, no less? You can do more than pray. Faith without works is dead.’

Below is a list of the senators who have taken the most money from the NRA, according to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

Mitt Romney (Utah) $13,647,676Richard Burr (North Carolina) $6,987,380Roy Blunt (Missouri) $4,555,722Thom Tillis (North Carolina) $4,421,333Marco Rubio (Florida) $3,303,355Joni Ernst (Iowa) $3,124,773Rob Portman (Ohio) $3,063,327Todd C. Young (Indiana) $2,897,582Bill Cassidy (Louisiana) $2,867,074Tom Cotton (Arkansas) $1,968,714Pat Toomey (Pennsylvania) $1,475,448Josh Hawley (Missouri) $1,391,548Marsha Blackburn (Tennessee) $1,306,130Ron Johnson (Wisconsin) $1,269,486Mitch McConnell (Kentucky) $1,267,139Mike Braun (Indiana) $1,249,967John Thune (South Dakota) $638,942Shelley Moore Capito (West Virginia) $341,738Richard Shelby (Alabama) $258,514Chuck Grassley (Iowa) $226,007John Neely Kennedy (Louisiana) $215,788Ted Cruz (Texas) $176,274Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) $146,262Steve Daines (Montana) $123,711Cindy Hyde-Smith (Mississippi) $109,547Roger Wicker (Mississippi) $106,680Rand Paul (Kentucky) $104,456Mike Rounds (South Dakota) $95,049John Boozman (Arkansas) $82,352John Cornyn (Texas) $78,945Ben Sasse (Nebraska) $68,623Jim Inhofe (Oklahoma) $66,758Lindsey Graham (South Carolina) $55,961Mike Crapo (Idaho) $55,039Jerry Moran (Kansas) $34,718John Barrasso (Wyoming) $26,989John Hoeven (North Dakota) $22,050Susan Collins (Maine) $19,638James Lankford (Oklahoma) $18,955Jim Risch (Idaho) $18,850Tim Scott (South Carolina) $18,513Kevin Cramer (North Dakota) $13,255

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