The White House today slammed the threat of a filibuster on gun-control legislation as a move that would be a slap in the face to the victims of gun violence.
Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Friday vowing to “oppose the motion to proceed to any legislation that will serve as a vehicle for any additional gun restrictions.”
Before leaving for the Easter recess, Senate Democrats blocked a vote on an amendment offered by Lee to create a budget point of order against any future legislation that restricts the rights of Americans to own a firearm. The point of order could only be waived with a 2/3 vote.
“Americans are appalled by criminal acts of mass violence,” Lee said. “However, Americans also recognize that there are limits to the problems that can be solved with new legislation.”
White House press secretary Jay Carney said he hadn’t specifically discussed the threat with President Obama — and the administration now knows to take a filibuster threat from Paul seriously.
“I would simply say that, you know, filibusters of efforts to move forward with — you know, with common sense measures to reduce gun violence would be unfortunate,” Carney said.
“…I mean, you know, a vote ought to be held on all these elements. That was what the president made clear when he announced his plan. It is what the American people deserve. It is what the victims of gun violence deserve,” he continued. “I mean, I don’t think you need to tell the families of those who have lost their children to gun violence that bills like this may be filibustered. I don’t think that would be welcome news.”
Carney was pressed on how much pressure the president is willing to exert to get a renewal of the assault weapons ban included in any gun-control package.
“I think he — he has and will continue to make clear that this is a measure that he believes ought to pass, that it’s a common sense measure that would not — and this is true of everything that’s part of his plan — would not take a single firearm away from a law-abiding American citizen that respects entirely Second Amendment rights of the American people, Second Amendment rights that the president supports, but which, as all of the measures do, as a package, would help reduce the scourge of gun violence in America, which is an — an objective that he believes is non-political and non- partisan, because the victims of gun violence in America are not Democrats or Republicans. And as we have learned, they’re often not even eligible to vote.”
This small group of @senate_gops would rather placate the gun lobby than vote on legislation to protect families and children.
— Sen. Barbara Boxer (@SenatorBoxer) March 26, 2013