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Top Republican: Conservatives Are Too Scared To Debate Popular Gun Safety Bill

By Igor Volsky on April 9, 2013 at 10:00 am

"Top Republican: Conservatives Are Too Scared To Debate Popular Gun Safety Bill"

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Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA) joined the growing chorus of lawmakers calling for conservative to allow a vote on gun safety legislation, telling CBS’ This Morning on Tuesday, “we have not seen the final draft of the legislation that was produced…I think it deserves an vote up or down.”

But 14 Republicans — including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (KY) — have pledged to filibuster any comprehensive gun safety legislation, though all refused to appear on CBS to discuss their opposition, Norah O’Donnell reported. Gun advocates are running online campaigns calling on lawmakers to prevent the package from ever being considered, though a vote on the motion to proceed to the legislation could occur on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Rep. Peter King (R-NY) — one of the only Republicans in the House to support the gun package — added that the filibuster effort is “wrong” and “makes it seem like they’re afraid of something.” “I don’t know what they’re afraid of, but if they’re so sure of their position, let it come to a debate,” King said on CNN.

Sens. John McCain (R-AZ), Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) have also condemned the obstruction, arguing that the measure should come to a vote since Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) will allow senators to offer amendments to the legislation. The bill will expand restrictions against gun trafficking, invest in school safety and provide for universal background checks of all gun purchases, though the final version of that provision is still being negotiated. Polls indicate that more than 90 percent of Americans support background checks on all gun purchases.

“They’re not just saying they’ll vote no on ideas that almost all Americans support,” Obama said Monday of the filibuster threat during a speech in Connecticut. “They’re saying they’ll do everything they can to even prevent any votes on these provisions. They’re saying your opinion doesn’t matter, and that’s not right.” Some pundits are making a similar case, arguing that the party is undermining its rebranding effort and siding with “rapists” and criminals in the gun debate.

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