- Tony Blair to warn West: Take sides against radical Islam
- Pfc. Bradley Manning’s name change to Chelsea heads to court
- NYPD’s attempt at positive Twitter outreach campaign proves to be an epic fail
- Michigan man among first in U.S. to get ‘bionic eye’
- JetBlue pilots vote to unionize; 2 previous attempts failed
- Pentagon plans to replace flight crews with ‘full-time’ robots
- Navy’s military dolphins may meet Putin’s porpoises in Black Sea
- Forget the Porsche — it’s the guy with the Prius that attracts the ladies, poll shows
- Fired Russian Facebook CEO says site has fallen in the hands of pro-Putin supporters
- Sen. Boozman of Arkansas has emergency heart surgery
Showdown in the U.S. Senate as hunt for gun-control votes intensifies
Gun control supporters scrambled to find 60 votes to pass expanded background checks on firearms purchases, hoping to sway reluctant senators ahead of a showdown vote.
After spinning its wheels for most of the day Tuesday, the Senate set up a series of gun votes for Wednesday, including what has become the critical fight — a proposal to expand background checks to include all sales at gun shows and over the Internet, though it would exclude person-to-person private sales.
He told reporters earlier Tuesday that gun control supporters were still searching for support, but he felt they had momentum.
“Am I saying it’s all over with, done, we got the votes? No, but we certainly feel we have the wind at our back,” he said.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut Democrat, said the votes offer an opportunity to “keep faith” with the families of the 20 children and six adults killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., and the 3,400 victims of gun violence since the tragedy.
“Just as the world has watched Newtown since Dec. 14, Newtown will be watching the U.S. Senate [Wednesday],” he said. “It will mark a critical milestone in the movement to fight gun violence.”
But the delay in voting seemed to signal momentum was on the other side — a sense buttressed by the dwindling number of undecided lawmakers and the growing number of those who say they cannot vote for the background check proposal.
“The majority doesn’t have the votes to pass their own amendment, so we’re not voting,” said Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee. “If we turn to assault weapons or magazines, then it’s clear to all that the majority knows the votes aren’t going to be there.”
The Senate last week agreed to bring the gun bill to the chamber floor, with many Republicans supportive of that move. Since then, however, the bill has stalled and lawmakers have not voted on any amendments.
Earlier in the day, Democrats got a boost from the presence of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, Arizona Democrat, who was gravely wounded when a gunman opened fire at an outdoor town hall she was holding in Tucson in 2011. Democrats also heard an emotional plea for action from Sen. Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, a co-sponsor of the background check compromise, as well as Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Christopher Murphy of Connecticut and Tim Kaine of Virginia, who was governor of the state at the time of the Virginia Tech shootings in 2007.
The underlying bill has language on background checks that the compromise is supposed to replace.
Other amendments up for a vote Wednesday would ban so-called assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.
Mr. Grassley, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and other co-sponsors plan to unveil their substitute amendment Wednesday morning that makes changes to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, provides resources to help address mental health and school safety, protects veterans from false health determinations, and addresses gun trafficking and straw purchasing.
The wide array of amendments could be a double-edged sword for Democrats. Voting against provisions to ban military-style, semi-automatic rifles and high-capacity ammunition magazines — measures widely presumed to fail — could give wary senators a chance to shore up their pro-gun bona fides and still vote for expanded background checks.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
David Sherfinski covers politics for The Washington Times. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Supreme Court pushes consideration of N.J. gun case to April 25
- Supreme Court weighs appeal to concealed-carry gun laws
- Michael Bloomberg charts $50M challenge to NRA: 'Got to make them afraid'
- McAuliffe's PAC off to fast start, with $254,000 raised in two weeks
- Virginia Republican Bob Marshall stands by remarks that raise eyebrows
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
Feds who send arms against ranch families betray American values
- CARSON: When government looks more like foe than friend
- Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy hailed as patriot, renegade
- Tactical advantage: Russian military shows off impressive new gear
- IRS revokes conservative group's tax-exempt status over anti-Clinton statements: report
- America is an oligarchy, not a democracy or republic, university study finds
- ORTEL: Putin sees opportunities as Obama turns away
- Inside China: Marine's comment on islands draws sharp Chinese response
- Supreme Court upholds Michigan affirmative action ban
- Michelle Obama: Obama family Sundays are more for napping than church
- Bonuses given to IRS employes who owed back taxes
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.