Thursday, April 11, 2013

Cloture Passed This Morning so Debate can Begin on S 649, Safe Communities, Safe Schools Act of 2013

What are the Republicans afraid of when they want to stop debate on common sense gun control measures?

This sentence from the AP article sums up the GOP hard right Senators who even though defeated on the filibuster by cloture being invoked still want to delay debate even longer:
With that defeat imminent, conservatives were saying they would invoke a rule forcing the Senate to wait 30 hours before it could begin considering amendments. 
This is one of the things that is wrong with the hard right GOP today in Congress - their whole aim seems to be obstruction and delaying actions so nothing gets done.  A lot of Republicans are as appalled at the hard right in Congress as Democrats and Independents.  Our voices will be heard in Nov 2014 as we vote to oust the hard right Tea Party types from Congress.

At least one Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn has some common sense by voting to allow the debate to continue.  What are the Republicans afraid of when they want to stop debate?  Are they afraid the American people will see them for what they really are - bought and paid for elected officials who put lobbyists and wealthy donors ahead of the American people.

Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) did his usual by lying about the bill to appease the hard right:
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., was supporting the conservative effort, saying the legislation would restrict the constitutionally protected rights of relatives and friends to sell firearms to each other. 
"This bill is a clear overreach that will predominantly punish and harass our neighbors, friends, and family," 
Facts don't seem to be a friend to Senator McConnell especially since he faces re-election and plays to the hard right so they won't primary him.  Dishonest to the core who puts his re-election over what is good for the vast majority of the American people.  When a gun is sold at a gun show under any circumstance, there needs to be a background check so a person cannot walk in and buy a gun for cash from a private seller with not even a check of their driver's license.  Have the cash today and immediately walk out with a semi-automatic rifle - no problem if you are felon as there are no checks required for private gun owners selling guns at the gun shows.

Will be watching a lot of debate on C-SPAN but have a hunch my mute button is going to get a workout as I cannot stand to watch someone lying like Senator Cruz (R-TX) did during the Hagel hearings for Secretary of Defense.  Between Cruz and Sen Inhofe (R-OK), had to put TV on mute as I was getting angrier by the minute at their lies and spin against Chuck Hagel.  Now it comes out that Cruz has problem with the truth over 50% of the time.  Now we get to watch and listen to Ted Cruz again who already said this lie about gun control:

• On gun control, Cruz claimed that "jurisdictions with the strictest gun control laws, almost without exception … have the highest crime rates and the highest murder rates." PolitiFact Texas looked at jurisdictions with restrictive gun laws and found many cities, states and nations with low crime and murder rates. The Truth-O-Meter rating: False
Republican Senators opposing any and all gun control will be keeping the fact checkers busy during the debate would be my guess.

The final vote was 68-31 on Motion to Invoke Cloture on the Motion to Proceed to S.649 with Lautenberg (D-NJ) not voting.

Votes by State:

Vote SummaryBy Senator NameBy Vote PositionBy Home State

Grouped by Home State
Alabama:Sessions (R-AL), NayShelby (R-AL), Nay
Alaska:Begich (D-AK), NayMurkowski (R-AK), Nay
Arizona:Flake (R-AZ), YeaMcCain (R-AZ), Yea
Arkansas:Boozman (R-AR), NayPryor (D-AR), Nay
California:Boxer (D-CA), YeaFeinstein (D-CA), Yea
Colorado:Bennet (D-CO), YeaUdall (D-CO), Yea
Connecticut:Blumenthal (D-CT), YeaMurphy (D-CT), Yea
Delaware:Carper (D-DE), YeaCoons (D-DE), Yea
Florida:Nelson (D-FL), YeaRubio (R-FL), Nay
Georgia:Chambliss (R-GA), YeaIsakson (R-GA), Yea
Hawaii:Hirono (D-HI), YeaSchatz (D-HI), Yea
Idaho:Crapo (R-ID), NayRisch (R-ID), Nay
Illinois:Durbin (D-IL), YeaKirk (R-IL), Yea
Indiana:Coats (R-IN), NayDonnelly (D-IN), Yea
Iowa:Grassley (R-IA), NayHarkin (D-IA), Yea
Kansas:Moran (R-KS), NayRoberts (R-KS), Nay
Kentucky:McConnell (R-KY), NayPaul (R-KY), Nay
Louisiana:Landrieu (D-LA), YeaVitter (R-LA), Nay
Maine:Collins (R-ME), YeaKing (I-ME), Yea
Maryland:Cardin (D-MD), YeaMikulski (D-MD), Yea
Massachusetts:Cowan (D-MA), YeaWarren (D-MA), Yea
Michigan:Levin (D-MI), YeaStabenow (D-MI), Yea
Minnesota:Franken (D-MN), YeaKlobuchar (D-MN), Yea
Mississippi:Cochran (R-MS), NayWicker (R-MS), Yea
Missouri:Blunt (R-MO), NayMcCaskill (D-MO), Yea
Montana:Baucus (D-MT), YeaTester (D-MT), Yea
Nebraska:Fischer (R-NE), NayJohanns (R-NE), Nay
Nevada:Heller (R-NV), YeaReid (D-NV), Yea
New Hampshire:Ayotte (R-NH), YeaShaheen (D-NH), Yea
New Jersey:Lautenberg (D-NJ), Not VotingMenendez (D-NJ), Yea
New Mexico:Heinrich (D-NM), YeaUdall (D-NM), Yea
New York:Gillibrand (D-NY), YeaSchumer (D-NY), Yea
North Carolina:Burr (R-NC), YeaHagan (D-NC), Yea
North Dakota:Heitkamp (D-ND), YeaHoeven (R-ND), Yea
Ohio:Brown (D-OH), YeaPortman (R-OH), Nay
Oklahoma:Coburn (R-OK), YeaInhofe (R-OK), Nay
Oregon:Merkley (D-OR), YeaWyden (D-OR), Yea
Pennsylvania:Casey (D-PA), YeaToomey (R-PA), Yea
Rhode Island:Reed (D-RI), YeaWhitehouse (D-RI), Yea
South Carolina:Graham (R-SC), YeaScott (R-SC), Nay
South Dakota:Johnson (D-SD), YeaThune (R-SD), Nay
Tennessee:Alexander (R-TN), YeaCorker (R-TN), Yea
Texas:Cornyn (R-TX), NayCruz (R-TX), Nay
Utah:Hatch (R-UT), NayLee (R-UT), Nay
Vermont:Leahy (D-VT), YeaSanders (I-VT), Yea
Virginia:Kaine (D-VA), YeaWarner (D-VA), Yea
Washington:Cantwell (D-WA), YeaMurray (D-WA), Yea
West Virginia:Manchin (D-WV), YeaRockefeller (D-WV), Yea
Wisconsin:Baldwin (D-WI), YeaJohnson (R-WI), Nay
Wyoming:Barrasso (R-WY), NayEnzi (R-WY), Nay

With the passing of cloture to shut off the filibuster by the Republicans, the Gun Control Debate is ready to move forward against objections of conservatives who once again do not want to debate legislation that would expand background checks to more gun buyers, toughen penalties against illicit firearms sales and offer slightly more money for school security.  Cannot fathom the number of amendments that will be brought to the floor by Republican Senators trying to stall the final passage for the NRA of any gun bill.
Gun Control Debate Ready To Launch In Senate
AP  |  By ALAN FRAM Posted:   |  Updated: 04/11/2013 11:47 am EDT 
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate is ready to launch an emotion-charged debate on new gun restrictions, four months after the carnage at a Connecticut elementary school spurred President Barack Obama and Congress to address firearms violence.  
"Let's get on the bill," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., as senators prepared for the vote. He said lawmakers had to try preventing criminals and the mentally ill from getting firearms, adding, "This bill won't stop every madman determined to take innocent lives. I know that, we all know that." 
The roll call was coming a day after two leading conservatives, Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Patrick Toomey, R-Pa., unveiled a less restrictive compromise on federal background checks, requiring them for gun shows and online transactions but exempting noncommercial, personal transactions.
Read More at Huffington Post 
Cannot even fathom the number of cloture votes that will be required in order to continue to debate the bill and amendments as the 29 Republican Senators who lost the cloture debate are prepared to do anything possible to defeat this legislation.  Going to be a hard few weeks on people who value honesty and integrity because we are not going to be seeing much of that as the hard right fights for the NRA to keep any part of gun control from passing.  Just don't understand how as a Senator you could vote for gun control in 1994 and oppose it now when the killings are getting worse and worse with small children getting a loaded and shooting another small child.

If I had my way all guns would be required to be under lock and key when children are in the home.  If a parent leaves a loaded gun around which is used in a shooting of a child, then the parent should be brought up on child endangerment charges.  Ridiculous to put it down as an 'accident' when it could be prevented by keeping guns under lock and key with no loaded guns around children.

As The Hill Reports, two Democrats Begich (D-AK) and Pryor (D-AR) voted with the 29 Republicans to filibuster.  Must be afraid of re-election in their states is all I can think of for their vote not to end cloture.
News from The Hill:

Senate votes 68-31 to move forward with gun control measure
By Jonathan Easley and Ramsey Cox 
The Senate voted to move forward on gun control Thursday, clearing the first of what is expected to be many 60-vote hurdles for the legislation. 
In a 68-31 vote, the Senate approved a procedural motion that will allow debate on the Democratic measure to being. 
Sixteen Republicans voted in favor of the motion, while two Democrats — both from states President Obama lost in the 2012 election, voted against it. The two Democrats were Sens. Mark Begich (Alaska) and Mark Pryor (Ark.). 
The vote comes nearly four months after 26 people including 20 first-graders were killed by a lone gunman at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. 
Read the story here.

The LA Times has all 23 of President Obama’s gun policy proposals which sound reasonable to me but which the hard line, no common sense GOP Senators refuse to consider as being worthy of a vote.  Step 1 on the path to some form of gun control passed today, on to Step 2 the debate portion with amendments, and finally Step 3 will hopefully be a vote.  How many road blocks will the hard right try to throw in the way of passage of any reform which goes against the wishes of the American people?
Senate votes to overcome filibuster of gun billApril 11, 2013, 8:46 a.m. 
WASHINGTON – The Senate crossed the first of many hurdles Thursday in the drive to pass new gun legislation, with a bipartisan vote to begin what could be weeks of debate on the issue.
By a 68-31 margin, senators moved to open formal consideration of a package of reforms to expand background checks, improve school safety and combat gun trafficking. Among Republicans, 16 voted yes, while two Democrats voted no and one did not vote. 
Next week senators will be able to offer amendments that pose the real test for whether the larger bill will succeed. Both gun-rights advocates and supporters of even stricter gun control expect to offer additional proposals that would ban the sales of certain types of assault weapons ban or expand concealed weapons permits. 
The first amendment expected to come to a vote would be a compromise reached this week on background checks brokered by Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) that was seen as increasing the likelihood that the larger package will pass. 
“The political landscape of America on gun safety is changing before our eyes,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said just moments before the vote at a news conference with family members of the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre who later watched the vote from the Senate gallery. “The political conventional wisdom four months ago was that nothing would be done. Today we prove that conventional wisdom wrong.” 
Read More at the LA Times
The pressure has to be kept on Senators so that a vote can be taken - looks like passage of at least stronger background checks will happen but still no time to stop the effort at demanding meaningful gun control.  IMHO we owe it to the people who would be alive today if the Assault Weapons Ban had not been allowed to expire along with loosening other gun regulations.  We will never know how many lives would have been saved but would imagine the toll would not be near as high.

NRA is nothing but the lobbying arm of the gun/ammo manufactures looking for more buyers so they can make more money, then give more to NRA who then gives big dollars to their favorite candidates - vicious cycle that must be broken in this session of Congress.

Time for a vote on all 23 of the President's Proposals which Senator Feinstein (D-CA) and others have been working on to bring them to a vote.  Majority Leader Reid killed a lot of the Feinstein bill but told Senator Feinstein it can be brought to the floor as amendments during the debate.  Will he keep his word?  Only time will tell.

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