In an admission of defeat, Majority Leader Harry Reid has pulled the gun control bill from Senate consideration.
“This debate is not over, in fact this fight is just beginning,” said Reid who also stated that the Senate would “take a pause” and return to the issue sometime in the future.
Reid said the Senate would “take a pause and freeze the background check bill where it is” and return to it at an undetermined date, likely with consideration of other proposed amendments.
“We’re going to come back to this bill,” Reid said.
Before making the announcement Thursday afternoon, Reid consulted with the White House about pulling the bill, and the White House supported the move, according to a White House official familiar with the talks.
The underlying bill hasn’t been defeated and is still technically on the legislative calendar. As majority leader, Reid can bring up the bill again at a moment’s notice.
When the Senate might reconsider the bill remains uncertain and may not occur for weeks or months. Reid said the Senate would move next to consideration of an Internet taxation bill, a proposal that is believed to enjoy bipartisan support.
Before Reid pulled the bill, senators voted Thursday to approve two amendments: One that would deter states from publishing lists of gun owners and a bipartisan plan to bolster federal funding for mental health efforts, including suicide prevention programs.
There isn’t much of a gun control bill to pull; just the two amendments passed yesterday and some initiatives to improve school safety and beef up enforcement of “straw purchases” of weapons.
We won’t see the bill unless some horrific act of barbarism riles the public enough to justify bringing it to the floor again. Because the gun control lobby relied on emotional arguments rather than logic or reason, they must wait until the emotions of the public are stoked by another incident where sufficient pressure can be placed on fence sitters to push the legislation through.
Ghoulish to be sure. But that’s all Harry Reid has.