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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Gun Politics and the Bipartisan Sportsmen's Act

As was noted yesterday, the prospects for passage of the Bipartisan Sportsmen's Act of 2014 looks to have dimmed after it overwhelmingly cleared the initial hurdle that opened debate Tuesday.  Roll Call has an article this morning that all but predicts the bill will fail in the highly partisan fever of the election year, preventing endangered Democrats in red states from being able to take a vote on bipartisan legislation back to their states as part of their campaign.  It was originally Harry Reid's way of giving what looked like an easy vote to his colleagues facing tough elections.  But, it looks like he got out flanked by the Republicans.
The 2014 strategy on the sportsmen’s bill differs from a 2012 effort, in which legislation from then-in-cycle Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., was scheduled prior to the election for a vote in the lame duck. Tester got credit from local media, but he avoided any chance of a legislative belly flop on the floor.
Still, sources on the ground said the issue didn’t seem to have much resonance in North Carolina race yet. Republican challenger Thom Tillis’ campaign was pointing to the differences in the two records on gun issues, including Hagan’s “F” rating from the National Rifle Association, but it wasn’t clear what kind of response to the sportsmen’s bill there might be.
The Washington Post Politics blog reports a little more hopeful (but not by much) outlook for the bill:
As the fighting continues, Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) began using procedural steps Wednesday to advance the hunting and fishing bill, leaving open a slim possibility that Democrats and Republicans will agree to votes on gun-related­ amendments and pass the bill. If such an agreement can’t be reached, the measure could be quickly blocked and defeated.

Update: The bill is now the casualty of a filibuster as several Democrats joined a majority of Republicans in voting against Reid's move to block a number of the filed 81 amendments.

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