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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Media Reports Senate Gun Bill Doesn't Have Necessary Votes To Pass

By Susan Duclos

Both Washington Post and Politico are reporting Democrats don't have the necessary 60 votes to pass the Manchin-Toomey Senate gun control bill which would expand background checks for commercial gun purchases, including those at gun shows and online.

Of the 16 Republican Senators that joined Democrats to pass the motion to proceed to debate the  gun control bill in the Senate, 10 of them have now said they will vote against the gun control bill: Sens. Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), Jeff Flake (Ariz.), Richard Burr (N.C.), Saxby Chambliss (Ga.), Tom Coburn (Okla.), Bob Corker (Tenn.), Lindsey Graham (S.C.), John Hoeven (N.D.), Johnny Isakson (Ga.), and Roger Wicker (Miss.).

Four Republicans, Toomey and Sens. Mark Kirk (Ill.), Susan Collins (Maine) and John McCain (Ariz.) are expected to vote in favor of the bill. (Politico)

Senate majority leader Harry Reid cannot even count on all of his Democratic caucus to vote for the bill and is likely to lose a few members of his own party. (Washington Post)

Among the six Democrats, Sen. Kay Hagan (N.C.) announced Monday that she will vote for the plan. Spokesmen for the five other Democrats — Max Baucus (Mont.), Begich, Heitkamp, Mary Landrieu (La.) and Mark Pryor (Ark.) — said Monday that the senators were reviewing the proposal and soliciting input from constituents before making a decision
 In an attempt to basically bribe those red state Democrats changes to the bill are being considered: (Washington Post)

In an effort to win the support of some undecided rural-state senators, Manchin and Toomey were discussing the possibility Monday of adding language that would exempt select far-flung communities in Alaska and North Dakota from some background check requirements, according to Senate aides familiar with the talks. Such exceptions could help win the support of Alaska’s senators Mark Begich (D) and Lisa Murkowski (R) and North Dakota Democrat Heidi Heitkamp, a moderate with an A-rating from the NRA.
If the Democrats mentioned above are unwilling to commit, just two days away from the expected vote, they must be hearing some serious concerns from their constituents, leaving Reid less likely to obatin the votes he needs to pass the final bill.

The kicker here is that there is virtually no chance of this gun control bill passing the House of Representatives, as another Politico article points out, with the headline "Gun Control Bill In Peril."

And even if Senate negotiators get to 60 votes, the House is certain to rewrite the bill – or discard it altogether.

This means there is absolutely no upside for red state Democrats, especially those up for re-election in the 2014 midterms.

To cast a vote for the Senate gun control bill which includes the controversial expansion on background checks and a registry, knowing their vote will be used  relentlessly in the campaigns to unseat them in 2014, with no chance of it becoming law because it can't pass the House, is tantamount to political suicide.