Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Monday blasted a growing group of Senate Republicans threatening to delay debate on gun-control legislation.
Thirteen Senators have signed onto a letter to Mr. Reid, dated Monday, saying they will oppose “the motion to proceed to any legislation that will serve as a vehicle for any additional gun restrictions.”
If they don’t like the legislation, Mr. Reid said, they don’t have to support it — but victims of gun violence deserve a vote on the issue.
“The least Republicans owe them is a vote,” he said on the Senate floor Monday.
GOP Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky, Mike Lee of Utah and Ted Cruz of Texas originally sent the letter to Mr. Reid two weeks ago.
“The more people learn about the consequences of current gun control proposals, the less they will support the new restrictions,” Mr. Lee said Monday. “Senators have an obligation both to uphold the Constitution and to promote solutions that effectively address national problems. The current gun control proposals fail both tests.”
Mr. Reid said the Republicans crowing the loudest about returning Congress to regular order are the very ones threatening the filibuster, gesturing toward the spot in the Senate Chamber where Mr. Paul recently delivered a headline-making filibuster to get information on the Obama administration’s drone policy.
“Talk about speaking out of both sides of their mouth,” Mr. Reid said.
He added that dysfunction in the Senate has spread to routine blocking of “scores and scores” of nominations for Cabinet positions and judgeships.
“Virtually every American thinks this is foolish the way things are going,” he said.
He hinted last week in an interview with Nevada Public Radio that he may revisit filibuster reform as a result.
“All within the sound of my voice, including my Democratic senators and my Republican senators who I serve with, should understand that we as a body have the power on any given day to change the rules with a simple majority, and I will do that if necessary,” Mr. Reid said.