The White House labeled a plan Tuesday by Senate Republicans to block gun-control measures “unfortunate” and said those lawmakers threatening a filibuster are out of step with the vast majority of Americans.
“A vote ought to be held on all these elements,” said White House press secretary Jay Carney. “It is what the victims of gun violence deserve. I don’t think you could tell the families of those who have lost their children to gun violence — that bills like this might be filibustered.”
Republican Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, Mike Lee of Utah and Rand Paul of Kentucky warned Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid Monday that they might filibuster any legislation that restricts gun rights.
“We, the undersigned, intend to oppose any legislation that infringe on the American people’s constitutional right to bear arms, or on their ability to exercise this right without being subjected to government surveillance,” they wrote in a letter.
Mr. Reid, Nevada Democrat, plans for the Senate to consider a comprehensive gun package after the two-week Easter recess. The bill would try to crack down on gun trafficking and include a requirement for universal background checks. An assault-weapons ban is not part of the package, although it could be brought up by an amendment.
Mr. Carney said pushing such a measure through Congress is “hard.”
‘Closing gun show loopholes — that’s an idea that has something like 90 percent support in the United States, [and] by some polls has the majority of support among gun owners in America; support among Republicans and independents and Democrats,” he said. “We ought to be able to do this.”