Mitch McConnell: Yeah, I'm Joining This Gun Control Filibuster

Katie Pavlich

4/9/2013 8:00:00 AM - Katie Pavlich

Weeks ago, Senators Ted Cruz, Mike Lee and Rand Paul threatened to filibuster any kind of gun control legislation brought to the floor by Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid. That list has since grown to include Marco Rubio, Ron Johnson, Mike Enzi, Jerry Moran, Jim Inhofe, Richard Burr, Jim Risch, Mike Crapo, Dan Coats, Pat Roberts and most recently, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said he would join a group of Senate Republicans threatening a filibuster to oppose a cloture vote if Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid moves a gun bill to the floor this week.

Reid has promised to move a gun bill to the Senate floor this week, but it’s unclear which one. It depends on whether Democrats can strike a deal on background checks on gun sales — otherwise, they may settle for a less strict bill that includes some form of background checks, increase penalties for gun trafficking and increase school security. In order to get around the filibuster, Reid has indicated that he would file a cloture motion, which would require a 60-vote margin to move the bill.

“While nobody knows yet what Senator Reid’s plan is for the gun bill, if he chooses to file cloture on the motion to proceed to the Reid Bill (S. 649), Senator McConnell will oppose cloture on proceeding to that bill,” McConnell spokesman John Ashbrook said in a statement.

Reid, who's dealing with a tricky subject here due to his strong NRA rating and pro-Second Amendment support back home, is shaming Senators for threatening a filibuster. Why? Not necessarily because he thinks gun control legislation is a good thing, but because it puts him in a tough spot politically.


UPDATE: Obama is also pretty mad about this whole filibuster thing.

The White House lashed out Monday at Republican lawmakers threatening to filibuster gun control legislation in the Senate, accusing them of trying to pull “political stunts” and "hide" behind procedural maneuvers -- as support for the filibuster continued to grow.

President Obama criticized the proposed filibuster during a campaign-style event at the University of Hartford in Connecticut about 45 miles from the elementary school where 20 first-graders were shot and killed in December.

So, President Obama is allowed to use cops and kids as political props during his speeches, but Republicans aren't allowed to pull a political stunt by filibustering new gun control legislation? Okay.