If there was a saving grace to the 2020 elections, it’s that the Senate ended up as a 50-50 split. Yes, Vice President Kamala Harris is the tie-breaking vote, but thanks to the filibuster, there aren’t likely to be too many 50-50 votes for her to vote on.
In order for any legislation to make it through the Senate, at least 60 senators have to vote for cloture, which would then allow a vote. Of course, those 60 don’t have to be either in favor of the bill or not. They just have to agree there should be a vote.
With gun control now in the Senate, these rules are pretty important. If Republicans can hold serve, and if Joe Manchin holds as well, then 60 votes just aren’t going to happen.
However, Sen. Chris Murphy seems to think he can get the votes.
Sen. Chris Murphy said he thinks he can get 10 Republican senators to support a gun control measure in the Senate in the aftermath of back-to-back mass shootings in Colorado and Georgia that killed a total of 18 people.
The Connecticut Democrat was asked if the Democrats could get the votes needed to expand background checks in the Senate where they hold a narrow majority in the 50-50 divided chamber.
Vice President Kamala Harris would break any ties.
Murphy said he’s focused on getting a filibuster-proof 60 votes.
“I’m not interested in getting 50 votes in the Senate. I’m interested in getting 60 votes. That’s what is required to pass a piece of legislation today,” Murphy said on NBC News’ “Meet the Press” on Sunday.
He said the politics have “shifted dramatically” on the issue of expanding background checks even as the influence of the once-powerful National Rifle Association has waned in recent years.
“I’ve gotten a lot of calls from Republicans in the Senate who don’t want to fight this fight any longer because the NRA’s authority is fading, the anti-gun violence movement’s impact is increasing. I think we have a chance,” Murphy said.
I’ll get into any failing of the NRA’s authority later, but for now, I’m going to just address whether Murphy is right or not.
Now, I can believe a lot of Republicans are sick of having this fight. I’m sick of having it myself. That doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re willing to vote for gun control, though.
If they are, well, I hope they enjoy being primaried.
What’s more, though, is that I think they know that will happen and that they’ll likely lose in those primaries.
The thing is, though, I’m not convinced this is the truth. I’ve seen too many Democrats in Congress talk about all this proof they had of President Trump’s misdeeds, only for that “proof” to never materialize to take their word at face value. I can also see tactical reasons Murphy would claim GOP members are reaching out.
After all, any that might be on the fence could hear that and decide to jump that direction. Get enough of them and you’ve got your 60 votes. Maybe water the bill down enough to mimic Toomey-Manchin (for universal background checks, anyway) and you’ve got more of a chance, but no one wants to be the lone Republican voting in favor of a gun control bill.
So, Murphy says a number are willing to cross the line so that any of those who might be considering it now have cover to do so.
That’s if they take Murphy at his word, which I’m not so sure about. If anything, it’s time for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to take a count and see where his side stacks up. Call Murphy on his BS if it’s there. If not, remind any thinking of jumping what happened after the 1994 Assault Weapon Ban passed. That’s kind of what his job is right now.
Of course, Murphy noted that McConnell signaled he’d be willing to compromise, as did Sen. Lindsey Graham, but I somehow doubt we’ll actually see enough senators side with Democrats to make a difference, especially since we’ve seen what compromise means to the left.
Murphy’s comments aren’t good news, but it’s also not earth-shattering bad news. After all, it’s most likely BS anyway.
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