Senate Extremists Try to Block Gun Violence Prevention Bill
In the fight against gun violence, there’s good news this week and some bad news this week. We’ll start with the good news:
- As of yesterday, at least 12 Republican senators agreed that the Senate should take up a gun violence prevention bill and vote on various proposals, including expanded background checks, a ban on high-capacity magazines, and an assault weapons ban. This almost guarantees that there will be enough votes for the Senate to take up the bill when they vote on it first thing tomorrow morning.
- Today, Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV), Pat Toomey (R-PA), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and Mark Kirk (R-IL) announced a bipartisan compromise on background checks. Their plan is not as extensive as the original Democratic proposal, but it will make significant progress in preventing guns from getting into the hands of criminals, the dangerously mentally ill, and others who should not have them. As Sen. Toomey said today, “I don’t consider criminal background checks to be gun control. It’s just common sense.”
- Mayors Against Illegal Guns put lawmakers on notice that, just like the NRA, they’ll be keeping score and grading lawmakers on their gun violence prevention records. They also put out a strong new ad slamming Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) for opposing universal background checks (more on him in minute).
Lots of good news, right? Well, here’s the bad news:
- A group of 14 Republican senators lead by extremists like Sens. Rubio, Rand Paul (R-KY) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) signed a letter promising to filibuster any gun violence prevention bill. Even Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) signed on to this offensive effort to prevent the Senate from even debating a gun violence bill, much less vote on the important provisions that will save lives. That’s bad for the country and an insult to families from Newtown, Aurora, and every other community across America that has been touched by gun violence.
Thankfully, it looks like these extreme Republicans won’t be able stop the Senate from voting on a gun violence prevention bill. But we’re not out of the woods yet, we’ll still need 60 votes to pass a bill that includes important provisions like expanded background checks.
Are you one of the 90 percent of Americans who thinks criminals, suspected terrorists, rapists, and stalkers shouldn’t be able to have guns? Call your senators today and tell them to pass a strong gun violence prevention bill with a strong background check provision: (202) 224-3121. The Senate won’t vote until tomorrow morning, so there’s still time to call.
BOTTOM LINE: The victims of senseless gun violence and their families deserve a vote — in both the Senate and the House.
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