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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

McConnell to Allow Collins "Terrorist Watch List" Bill for Senate Vote

The Hill reports that Republican Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell is expected to bring a bill by Susan Collins to a vote possibly this week.  The Collins bill would block people on two so-called "terrorist watch lists" from buying firearms.  The NRA opposes the bill but McConnell responded through a spokesman that “He will not be dictated to,” regarding lobbying efforts to prevent it from coming to a vote.

No one on our side of the issue wants terrorists to be able to buy guns but as this blog detailed yesterday, there are lot more people than just terrorists on the lists involved.  The position of the NRA and VSSA is that no one should lose civil rights simply because their names are on secret government lists.  In 2014 a federal judge ruled that the government's method for allowing the public to challenge placement on the no-fly list was "wholly ineffective" and unconstitutional.

But that hasn't stopped the gun ban crowd from using the Orlando terrorist attack to push a gun ban scheme they have been pushing since 2007.  They are likely more interested in using the issue as a campaign issue and that has led McConnell to cave according to The Hill article:
Both sides are trying to figure out how the vote might shape this fall’s elections, when Democrats could win back the Senate majority by netting just four Senate seats if they retain the White House.

Some Republicans suggested Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) aren’t interested in a deal because they want to use gun control as a wedge issue in the fall against GOP Sens. Mark Kirk (Ill.), Kelly Ayotte (N.H.), Pat Toomey (Pa.) and Rob Portman (Ohio), all of whom face challenging reelections in states won by President Obama in 2012.
“Sen. Schumer and Sen. Reid are discouraging Democrats from voting for it, trying to peel off those who have co-sponsored it because they, I don’t believe, really want to come up with a bipartisan solution. They’d just like to keep the issue alive,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) grumbled to reporters at one point on Tuesday.
That doesn't mean however that Reid and Schumer won't in the end see this as an opportunity to say they beat the NRA:
“I think you’re seeing in real time the vice grip of the NRA loosening in this place,” said Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.). “This is a watershed moment whether this gets to the finish line or not. You have Republicans scrambling to try to find a way to remedy their no votes [Monday] night.”

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