Even the most popular gun control measures seem to be going nowhere in the Senate.
Despite a concerted push from President Obama, Democratic leaders see no clear path to securing the 60 votes needed to break a promised Republican filibuster and ensure passage of legislation mandating background checks for gun purchases. Along with getting no help from Republicans, numerous Democrats facing re-election next year are skittish.
Reid can use a procedural option and open debate on the bill with 50 votes, thanks to a temporary provision in the bipartisan rules change enacted in January. That would guarantee Republicans two amendments, which they’ll likely use to poison the legislation, but Democrats could defeat those amendments with 41 votes — not a hard task. But even then, they’ll need 60 votes to end debate and proceed to a final up-or-down vote on the legislation. And that’s why Republicans are so confidently forecasting failure for the bill.
“I think that legislation is going nowhere,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told CNN on Sunday.
The same day on NBC, Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) called the idea of mandatory background checks for gun purchases “a bridge too far” — even as nine in 10 Americans say they support it.
90% of Americans support comprehensive background checks for gun purchases. Put ten people in a room, and one of them opposes. Just one. If you had ten people in a room, nine of them wanted to pass a law, and one of them didn’t, what would happen in a democracy?
Oh, that’s right. In a democracy, the majority rules. Last time I checked, 90% wasn’t just a majority … it was an overwhelming majority.
Congress has a responsibility to reflect the will of the American people, and any representative or senator who does not work to pass background check legislation is violating his or her duty to his or her constituents.
This is absolutely infuriating. A tiny, tiny, statistically-meaningless group of radical extremists are deliberately making life more dangerous for all of us who live in this country.
Dear Congress: you were elected to govern, and to heed the will of the American People. The American People have spoken as loudly and clearly as we ever have about anything, and your refusal to hear us is sickening, and un-American.