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Reid Rushes Into ‘Basis for Opening Debate’ Gun-Control Bill

Biden chides Congress to have "courage" and think about their "mortally wounded" colleague Gabby Giffords.

by
Bridget Johnson

Bio

March 21, 2013 - 6:21 pm

In a coordinated offensive between the upper chamber and the White House, Vice President Joe Biden and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) paved the way for a gun-control package — watered-down, according to the author of the 1994 assault weapons ban — to make it to the Senate floor.

But it came with a clear signal that the White House, despite Reid knocking the assault weapons ban off the base bill, wants the restrictions included in a final package.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s (D-Calif.) renewal of the ban, which featured an updated list of weapons and types of ammunition feeds, passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee a week ago on a 10-8 vote.

But when it came time to whittle down proposals to bring to the floor for passage, Reid passed on including Feinstein’s bill — though it will receive consideration as an amendment.

With Congress leaving for the Easter break, and the House already adjourned, Reid announced this evening that he’s pushing forward with procedural motions to start debate on a gun violence bill when the Senate returns the second week of April.

“This bill will include the provisions on background checks, school safety and gun trafficking reported by the Judiciary Committee. I hope negotiations will continue over the upcoming break to reach a bipartisan compromise on background checks, and I am hopeful that they will succeed. If a compromise is reached, I am open to including it in the base bill. But I want to be clear: in order to be effective, any bill that passes the Senate must include background checks,” Reid said.

“The bill I advance tonight will serve as the basis for opening debate,” he continued. “Once debate begins, I will ensure that a ban on assault weapons, limits to high-capacity magazines, and mental health provisions receive votes, along with other amendments. In his State of the Union address, President Obama called for all of these provisions to receive votes, and I will ensure that they do.”

Reid maintained he needed to drop Feinstein’s assault weapons language from the base bill to have a chance of clearing 60 in a cloture vote. But he’s going to have problems with that regardless considering how negotiators haven’t been able to reach common ground on Reid’s must-have — the background checks.

Sen. Chuck Schumer’s (D-N.Y.) insistence that checks and records kept by authorities on gun sales extend to all private sales, even between family members, frustrated negotiators Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) to the point where they declared earlier this month they could not support the language.

Standing with Mayor Michael Bloomberg in New York today, Biden prefaced Reid’s announcement with a chiding to Congress to show “courage” in the gun debate.

“There’s not one single thing being proposed — not one, not one, not one — that infringes upon anyone’s Second Amendment constitutional right. Not one,” Biden said, including the assault weapons ban in that.

“Three months ago, a deranged man walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School with a weapon of war. That’s what he walked in with, with a weapon of war. And that weapon of war has no place on American streets. And taking it off America’s streets has no impact on one’s constitutional right to own a weapon.”

Biden cited a favorite argument of Feinstein’s — that the previous assault weapons ban survived constitutional challenges.

“For all those who say we shouldn’t and can’t ban assault weapons, for all those who say the politics is too hard, how can they say that? …For all those who say we shouldn’t or couldn’t ban high-capacity magazines, I just ask them one question: Think about Newtown,” the vice president said.

“Think about what happened out in — where Gabby Giffords, my good friend, was shot and mortally wounded,” Biden added. The former congresswoman, of course, survived.

“It must be awful being in public office and concluding that even though you might believe you should take action, that you can’t take action because of the political consequence you face. What a heck of a way to make a living. I mean this sincerely. What a heck of a way to have to — have to act.”

After getting the news from Reid on Monday that she was relegated to amendment status, Feinstein told CNN on Tuesday that not receiving a vote “would be a major betrayal of trust.”

“This is very important to me. And I’m not going to lay down and play dead,” she said. “I think the American people have said in every single public poll that they support this kind of legislation. It’s aimed to protect children, to protect schools and malls.”

Reid’s move also indicates gun control has a higher priority on the floor than bipartisan immigration reform.

The Senate is in the midst of a late-night “vote-a-rama!” — as Reid’s floor schedule calls it — with another six votes scheduled for 11 a.m. Friday.

Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) budget was voted down tonight 40-59, with GOP Sens. Ted Cruz (Texas), Susan Collins (Maine), Dean Heller (Nevada), Mike Lee (Utah), and Rand Paul (Ky.) joining Democrats on the “nay” side.

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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All Comments   (24)
All Comments   (24)
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We are all saddened by what happened in Newtown and other places.

We are sad, but it does not mean we forget that we hold some "truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights."
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"There’s not one single thing being proposed — not one, not one, not one — that infringes upon anyone’s Second Amendment constitutional right. Not one,”

"...except that we're trying to infringe the right to keep and bear arms."
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Okay, here I go....

“There’s not one single thing being proposed — not one, not one, not one — that infringes upon anyone’s Second Amendment constitutional right. Not one,” Biden said. Biden is a bald-faced liar... period!!!

“Think about what happened out in — where Gabby Giffords, my good friend, was shot and mortally wounded,” Biden added. First off; Does anyone believe that he and Giffords are really "good friends"? I am so sick if this phoney, blow-hard congeniality that goes on in politics. Secondly; Mortally? Another missed opportunity, for the Lame Stream Media, to show what an idiot Sloppy Joe is. Proof there is no bias in the media. (Imagine if Dan Quayle has said that.)

“It must be awful being in public office and concluding that even though you might believe you should take action, that you can’t take action because of the political consequence you face. What a heck of a way to make a living. I mean this sincerely. What a heck of a way to have to — have to act.” Make a living? really? Listen, you jacka$$... the job of elected representative was never meant to be a "make a living" profession. And if it schlepps like you where more interested in doing the right thing, rather than job security, (not to mention pocket padding) this country might not be in the friggin' mess that it is.

Let's throw the bums out!! Every last one of 'em!!! And start over, from scratch.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Lardo - And that is what Leo Linbeck III at Campaign4PrimaryAccountability (http://campaign4primaryaccountability.org/) [when PJM going to allow links again?]{midiots} and sometime author and commenter at the Belmont Club advocates.

Get them in the primaries.

THROW THE BUMS OUT!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
“Three months ago, a deranged man walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School with a weapon of war.

Isn't it settled the shooter had only pistols, and his AR-15 was in the trunk of his car?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
A book, pencil, ruler, a piece of paper can all be weapons of war according to military improvised weapons manuals. They really need to be more clear in their terminology.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Well we already have Diane Frankelstein, why not Giffords "the walking dead" Maybe some more hair plants and biden will be the lycan. We know the blood-sucker is in the WH.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Aren't "Weapons of War" exactly what the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution protects?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
In any dictionary "arms" includes as a primary definition "military weapons". In the US vs. Miller it was determined that the right to keep and bear arms had as its primary purpose the rights of organized militia, not individuals. The Heller decision of the USSC stated that these rights were also held in part by individuals.

I think the Founding Fathers would be dismayed by all of this. Maybe France (cf. King Louis XVI and comte de Vergennes, 1776) will give us a grant to buy arms against tyrants again.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
If you want to know what the gun control twits like FrankenFeinstein are really thinking, ask them this simple question.

"Would you be willing to support a bill that only requires mental health professionals to report anyone they believe to be a danger to commit violent crime, protect said professionals from legal retribution, and to require background checks only at gun shows and retail outlets, with no record kept if the check is negative of any problem?"

Their answer will be a resounding "NO!" and then they will start blathering about weapons of war, imploding bullets, blah, blah, blah. Thye won't be happy until no private citizen has anything more than a single shot shotgun. They want to take 'em all away. Everything else is just horse hockey to cover up their real motive.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Shotgun? SHOTGUN? Maybe they might let us keep out cork guns. Maybe. Of course they'll take away the corks...
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
There are some funny videos on YouTube of people shooting shotguns for the first time. Not as easy as Biden thinks.

By the way, the VP's advice on shotguns is a felony in Texas.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Oops. that should have said "ouR cork guns". (Stupid fat fingers.)
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
they've all ready taken the corks. all the toys have orange plugs in the barrels. no shootin' shell fanner 50s.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
“Think about what happened out in — where Gabby Giffords, my good friend, was shot and mortally wounded,” Biden added. The former congresswoman, of course, survived.
----------------------------

And, you twit, Giffords was shot with a pistol, not an "assault weapon" (AKA rifle).

The whole gun control argument unravels with exposure to daylight.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Yes cockroaches scatter with exposure to daylight, but if you don't do anything else, they will proliferate.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
“It must be awful being in public office and concluding that even though you might believe you should take action, that you can’t take action because of the political consequence you face. What a heck of a way to make a living. I mean this sincerely. What a heck of a way to have to — have to act.”
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Another stupid remark by that guy also known as Obama's insurance policy. What a stupid thing to say. No matter how many times the democrats say it the support for this gun grab isn't setting well with the American people. Ole Joe is one of the elites - dumber than a red brick - and as gaff-prone as any politician that ever walked the earth yet seems to know what is best for us. Hint to you Ole Joe: I'm the best person on God's green earth to know what is best for me so get off your soap box and STFU!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
No lacking of guns on the streets already,may the hound dog Senate get a whiff of these or merely attempt to ban the antidote and make criminals of heads of households, who want to protect the home.Backasward thinking that targets the working families in favor of the home invaders and mac the knife.Who do they think they are protecting,who do they think do the VOTING?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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