Today the filibuster attempt by conservatives on the floor of the U.S. Senate failed. The roll-call on a cloture vote that will permit debate on S.649, commonly titled Safe Communities, Safe Schools Act of 2013, included “Yeas” from the following Republicans (those up for re-election or retirement in 2014 are noted.)
Alexander (R-TN)*Re-election in 2014
Chambliss (R-GA)*Retiring 2014
Collins (R-ME)*Re-election in 2014
Graham (R-SC)*Re-election in 2014
While there is a bill text, it’s already been posited at least by Hot Air’s Allahpundit that this is essentially meaningless. The bill introduced by Senator Harry Reid wasn’t really read by anyone, and likely will not be the bill that is voted on in the end, if the Senators do not take the warning from the NRA. The whole letter offered by the organization on this bill:
I am writing regarding the National Rifle Association’s position on several firearms-related proposals under consideration in the Senate.
S. 649, the “Safe Communities, Safe Schools Act of 2013”, introduced on March 21, contains a number of provisions that would unfairly infringe upon the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding gun owners. This legislation would criminalize the private transfer of firearms by honest citizens, requiring friends, neighbors and many family members to get government permission to exercise a fundamental right or face prosecution. The NRA is unequivocally opposed to S. 649.
In addition, the NRA will oppose any amendments offered to S. 649 that restrict fundamental Second Amendment freedoms; including, but not limited to, proposals that would ban commonly and lawfully owned firearms and magazines or criminalize the private transfer of firearms through an expansion of background checks. This includes the misguided “compromise” proposal drafted by Senators Joe Manchin, Pat Toomey and Chuck Schumer. As we have noted previously, expanding background checks, at gun shows or elsewhere, will not reduce violent crime or keep our kids safe in their schools. Given the importance of these issues, votes on all anti-gun amendments or proposals will be considered in NRA’s future candidate evaluations.
Rather than focus its efforts on restricting the rights of America’s 100 million law-abiding gun owners, there are things Congress can do to fix our broken mental health system; increase prosecutions of violent criminals; and make our schools safer. During consideration of S. 649, should one or more amendments be offered that adequately address these important issues while protecting the fundamental rights of law-abiding gun owners, the NRA will offer our enthusiastic support and consider those votes in our future candidate evaluations as well.
We hope the Senate will replace the current provisions of S. 649 with language that is properly focused on addressing mental health inadequacies; prosecuting violent criminals; and keeping our kids safe in their schools. Should it fail to do so, the NRA will make an exception to our standard policy of not “scoring” procedural votes and strongly oppose a cloture motion to move to final passage of S. 649.
Debate on the bill is scheduled to start immediately after the mid-day recess. As for fallout over Republicans crossing the aisle on this issue, it appears so far that they are willing to gamble with their NRA support. As for a Toomey and Manchin bill, as stated at HotAir, most likely that will come in the form of amendments to the Reid bill.