Thursday, April 18, 2013

Feinstein/Boxer failure on filibuster reform killed gun safety


Senator Feinstein is supposedly outraged that the Senate voted against gun control yesterday, but she bears some responsibility for the vote, since she---and Senator Boxer---were AWOL earlier this year when there was a chance to change the filibuster rule to allow a simple majority vote. Front page story in today's Chronicle:
 
Her new version[of the assault weapon ban] required, like virtually all legislation in the Senate these days, 60 votes, because everything is routinely blocked by filibuster. It didn't come close, failing 40-60 against a solid phalanx of Republicans and a 15-vote contingent of Democrats from gun-friendly rural states. "We're here on six-year terms for a reason, to take votes on difficult issues," Feinstein said. "Everything needs 60 votes today. This is supposed to be a majority body. We have crafted an assault weapons bill to really represent the people of America. Every single poll has shown support for this."
 
The assault weapons defeat wasn't close enough to be blamed on the filibuster, but background checks got 54 votes, short of the filibuster-proof 60 votes still required, thanks in part to her and Boxer.

Michael Tomasky on the shameful Senate vote.
 

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