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Monday, April 8, 2013

Reid Between Rock and Hard Place on Gun Control Bill

Roll Call noted yesterday that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is between a rock and a hard place when it comes to bringing up the gun control legislation reported out of the Senate Judiciary Committee.  If he doesn't bring it up, he sidelines one of Obama's legacy building proposals.  But if he allows it to come to the floor without a significant show of bipartisan support, at least on the so-called "universal background check" piece, he risks putting his more vulnerable members who are up for re-election in 2014 in a tough spot.
The trouble for Reid is the new process — established in January through modest filibuster rules changes — may have a fatal flaw in practice when the Nevada Democrat actually wants the bill involved to become law.

The new rules allow Reid to bring any bill to the floor without having to produce a filibuster-proof majority if he gives at least two amendment votes to each party, but those rules do not prevent senators from blocking a bill from passing once it’s up for debate. In the case of the background check bill, using the maneuver would almost certainly be a sign that Democrats do not have the 60 votes to beat back a filibuster of the bill before it reaches final passage. And waiting until a bill is on the floor to forge a compromise is a risky bet.
Because of this, it is no longer clear whether Reid will bring up the bill this week as originally scheduled.  And it also explains why you keep seeing stories in the media announcing that this Republican senator or that Republican senator is the "key" to any agreement on criminalizing private sales.

It appears that Obama is less interested in what happens to vulnerable Democrat senators and is more interested in his legacy.  He continues his campaign style tour pushing gun control with a trip to Connecticut today and Michelle Obama will make a trip to Chicago on Wednesday.

Don't let up on the pressure.  The reason they don't have an agreement on criminalizing private sales is because of your phone calls, emails, and letters to senators and congressmen.

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