Vox | The Senate Just Voted Down 4 Gun Control Proposals
Democrats and Republicans each offered their own versions of gun-control bills, and most were unwilling to cross the aisle.
Tonight, Senate Democrats made good on a commitment they had little leverage until now to follow through on: a promise to take votes on gun control bills.
They still didn't have the leverage, however, to pass them.
After the worst mass shooting in modern American history, a 15-hour Senate Democratic filibuster led by Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) shamed Republicans into scheduling votes for Monday.
But Monday night, the Senate failed to reach the 60-vote threshold for cloture on any of four separate measures: Republican and Democratic versions of a bill addressing background checks failed to reach the 60-vote threshhold for cloture; so did the Republican and Democratic versions of a bill restricting "suspected terrorists" from being able to buy guns.
The proposals were offered as amendments to an appropriations bill covering the departments of Commerce and Justice, as well as science and other agencies.
But the most interesting thing for the long-term prospects of gun control is that the votes happened at all.
Since the filibuster last week, Democrats have marched in lockstep to portray Republicans as too dogmatic on gun control to tackle a national security crisis. As a result, they’ve put Republicans on defense, forcing them to come up with objections to Democratic proposals and alternatives of their own, and putting former supporters of gun control in tough races (like Sen. Pat Toomey) in an especially tricky position.
When it came time to vote, Republicans mostly closed ranks — with one notable exception. But the debate around the issue indicates that Democrats are still united, and Republicans are struggling to play defense.
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