Reps. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), John Conyers (D-Mich.) and Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) tried a “stop the filibuster” campaign against Republicans in the upper chamber determined to stop gun-control legislation.
The three liberal House members gathered signatures from 47 other lawmakers on the letter sent to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Mike Lee (R-Utah) to “respectfully request that you exercise restraint from engaging in filibusters on these important pieces of legislation.”
The filibuster, they maintain, “was neither intended nor used historically to prevent the Senate from working its will on matters supported overwhelmingly by the American public such as the gun violence legislation working its way to the Senate floor.”
The House Dems invoked the Newtown, Conn., shootings and a Marist poll that found 87 percent support for background checks for private gun sales and purchases made at gun shows.
“The people are calling on us to enact new policy that that [sic] would serve the interests of all Americans,” the letter states.
“The American people are demanding action, not filibusters or more delay, when it comes to the issue of preventing gun violence,” Jackson Lee said. “Since the December 14, 2012 shootings in Newtown, Connecticut shocked the American conscience and claimed the lives of 20 innocent children and six educators, more than 3,200 Americans have died from firearms, of which more than 2,000 were the result of violent incidents. We cannot afford further delay in implementing reasonable laws designed to prevent more tragedies like the one at Sandy Hook Elementary.”