For Senate Democrats, passing gun control might be impossible, even without the filibuster

For Senate Democrats, passing gun control might be impossible, even without the filibuster

Senate Democrats have been eager to blame the GOP for stalled gun control legislation, but their own party lawmakers may ultimately block it. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has pledged to take up two House-passed bills to expand and enhance background check legislation but has yet to put them on the schedule. The 60-vote threshold means at least 10 Republicans would have to vote for the bill unless Democrats get rid of the filibuster. Even with Republicans no longer an obstacle, Democrats would still lack the votes in their own party to pass the legislation. Centrists led by Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia believe the language in the House bill barring transfers between friends and families goes too far and want broader carve-outs than are provided in the bill. Senate Republicans are keenly aware of the hesitancy among key Democrats, and some are eager to cut a deal on a more bipartisan bill. “The bill that passed the House that doesn’t even have 50 votes in the Senate,” Sen. Pat Toomey, a Pennsylvania Republican, told Meet the Press . “So, there are not even 50 votes. You could get rid of the filibuster tomorrow, and you still couldn’t pass that bill.” Manchin and Toomey are the authors of 2013 bipartisan language requiring background checks on commercial gun sales. The measure would exclude gun transfers between family and friends and would codify some provisions establishing gun ownership rights. The bill would likely earn some Republican support, but the liberal […]

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