Senate hits gridlock on guns

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As expected, the U.S. Senate on Monday evening hit gridlock on competing plans from Democrats and Republicans to respond to the nightclub attack in Orlando that killed 49 people, as Senators voted mainly along party lines as each side blocked a pair of plans put forward by the other.

“We can’t continue to do nothing,” complained Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), who put forward a plan to stop those on the no-fly list from buying a gun, but watched it fall short of the 60 votes needed for action in the Senate.

“My Republican friends do nothing – that’s the cold, hard truth,” said Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA).

All the votes were mainly along party lines, as just a few Senators broke ranks with their own party on the four votes.

Here’s a quick review of what the Senate did (or did not do) on guns:

+ The Senate blocked a plan from Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) that would have required background checks on all gun sales – not only from public stores, but also private transactions between individuals, including firearms sold over the internet. Backers of that plan mustered only 44 votes, 16 short of the 60 needed to force final action.

+ The Senate also blocked a GOP measure (by Sen. John Cornyn R-TX) that would have given officials a three day window to review gun purchases being made by someone on the terror ‘no-fly’ list. This plan had the support of the National Rifle Association, but was opposed by Democrats; the vote was 53-47 in favor – 60 votes were needed to advance the plan.

+ The Senate stopped a second GOP plan from Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) which would have forced states to put more information in the instant background check system dealing with mental health issues. That vote was also 53-47 for the Republican measure, short of the 60 votes needed.

+ The Senate blocked a different ‘no-fly, no-buy’ measure from Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), which would have stopped gun sales for any suspected terrorists on the terror no-fly watch list. The Feinstein plan fell short of a majority, as it netted 47 ‘Yes’ votes.


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