The Hill is reporting that the votes on the Toomey-Manchin Amendment still aren’t there. Let’s hope that holds until the votes.
10:41AM: Grassley, Cruz, and Graham announced a substitute amendment to the gun bill, which does not appear to contain any expansion of NICS requirements. It still has a number of measures we’ll like. It basically just encourages states to report records for people who were declared not-guilty by reason of insanity.
10:43AM: Expect a lot of crickets on the Senate Floor today as the kabuki is worked out. I’ll try to keep posting, but keep checking here. Like yesterday, when they break for lunch and come back, I’ll start a new post.
10:46AM: Here’s some of the votes the are missing.
10:46AM: John Cornyn (R-TX) is up on the floor noting the Second Amendment is not about hunting or recreation. “The Second Amendment has long been a bulwalk of individual liberty.” “Every mass shooting has occurred in a gun free zone,” well, that’s not quite true, but a lot of them are. Says no background check bill would have prevented Adam Lanza, since he murdered his mother to steal her guns.
10:53AM: Cornyn is introducing National Reciprocity as an Amendment. “This will essentially treat concealed carry licenses like drivers’ licenses.” Now he’s talking about the story of Suzanna Hupp. Hey, if the other side gets to tell victim stories, so do we. His amendment will be S.Amd 719. Entered. He’s saying the vote will be at 4:00PM.
11:04AM: Susan Collins (R-ME) is trying to lay down her gun credentials before backing the Toomey-Manchin amendment.
11:13AM: I have to laugh about this speech. While I don’t agree with the amendment Collins is backing, I do recognize that the anti-gun groups are being forced to cheer on a speech by a woman who is condemning so much of their ultimate agenda. She’s also making clear that even if the Toomey-Manchin amendment passes, she’s not vowing support for the final bill since there will be other anti-gun amendments allowed for votes.
11:16AM: John Barrasso (R-WY) is now talking about a different amendment topic–restricting state and local governments from releasing gun owner information to the public. He tells stories of domestic violence victims who have had their information published and guns stolen from homes put on a map.
11:21AM: Barrasso talks about supporting concealed carry reciprocity because he has a concealed carry license and would like to carry in other states. He called for people to support his amendment on gun owner privacy and Cornyn’s amendment. And now we’re silent…
11:23AM: Joe Manchin just took the floor and asked for permission to speak for 45 minutes. Ugh. His speech starts out with how much he loves the NRA. He even brags about carrying his card in his wallet and reads every magazine. It then turns into complaining about their legislative alerts and how he claims they aren’t accurate.
11:29AM: Manchin says that he’s talked to “all his gun owners” back in West Virginia. Really? Every single one? He also says that over 80% of them support his amendment. He also says that he has never written or signed a perfect bill, that they are all screwed up. Um, voters in West Virginia…you elected a guy who brags about making bad laws?
11:33AM: Manchin says that opponents to his amendment are people who don’t want to follow any laws–don’t want to have a license to drive on public roads or pay any taxes at all. Wow.
11:38AM: He turns to the terror angle and says that terrorists can go down to any gun show and buy fully automatic firearms without any background checks. He also says that there are people making a living selling firearms illegally, so his bill will make it more illegal.
11:41AM: Manchin tries to tie an NSSF survey saying that 25% of modern sporting rifle owners bought at least part of their rifle online, so that shows how scary the online marketplace of guns is and why it needs more regulations. There’s so much fail and so many distortions in his claims that it’s absurd.
11:44AM: Manchin now specifically encourages gun owners to break his law. He says that posting public announcements on bulletin boards around town and then selling them without background checks is perfectly legal under his amendment. No, it’s not. That’s illegal under his amendment, and Manchin is now encouraging gun owners to become felons under his language.
11:57AM: Manchin is off. Back to the crickets on the Senate Floor.
11:58AM: I think our music today is Handel. If it’s not, it’s something Baroque.
12:02PM: While there are crickets on the floor, they are having a protest outside the Capitol. Apparently they have issues with audio.
12:08PM: Kirsten Gillibrand is urging everyone to join the Toomey-Manchin amendment. She notes the victims deserve better! Victims are important now. Unlike when she had an A grade form the NRA before becoming Senator, I guess. Now she’s telling victim stories. It’s For the Children(TM). For the Children, we need to make gun trafficking double plus secret illegal. She’s being really over the top in her speech. She notes that the current penalties are just paperwork violations. Yeah. Paperwork violations that can land you a quarter million dollar fine and 5 to 10 years in federal prison, depending on what you lied about.
12:15PM: She’s yields the floor to Blumenthal (D-CT). He is urging his colleges to “heed and hear the families of Newtown.” I feel very sorry for what happened to them, but I didn’t have anything to do with it, and none of these proposals would have done anything to prevent it. I’m not going to agree to give up my freedoms for the acts of a lunatic. “We have to do something about the guns,” was the message from the Newtown families. You know, I’m more interested in doing something about the lunatics. If they can’t buy guns, it’s not like we restrict pressure cookers. “Let us choose love!” Oh please. Why do people vote for politicians who spew this kind of dreck? Hey, I love freedom. So yeah, let us choose love. He also wants to make illegal trafficking double illegal, even though the law we already has is poorly enforced. “We can make killers less lethal!” So you’re going to ban pressure cookers? We have to ban ordinary magazines For the Children(TM).
12:31PM: Now Blumenthal is telling everyone how much he cares about police officers. Because of that we have to ban 9mm semi-automatic pistols and “hollow point bullets.” He noted those bullets pierced the “bullletproof vest” No, they are resistant vests. Sometimes they fail, even for bullets they are rated for. He notes that their “bullet proof armor” could not have defended themselves against Adam Lanza’s AR-15. Well, they couldn’t have defended themselves against grandpa’s hunting rifle either. Any rifle round will go through soft body armor. He reiterates we have to choose love. I will, and I love freedom, Senator.
12:38PM: Bob Menendez is up now, to talk about how we need to ban assault weapons. Well, you know, we ban underaged hookers, but how well does that law work? This corrupt asshole has no business lecturing anyone. Menendez is upset over National Reciprocity. Good. I can understand why. Criminals really don’t like honest citizens being able to defend themselves. Bob Mendez says in 5 seconds, assault weapons can fire 52 rounds. That’s assuming it’s an M16 with the selector set on Full Auto. That’s not what anyone is talking about and he knows it. He brings up the Street Sweeper, even though that was reclassified as a destructive device years ago. He believes we have a responsibility to take an assault weapons off the street. I think we ought to take him off the streets.
12:48PM: Tom Coburn is up right now. “The issue in front of us now is how do we protect the Second Amendment right, and the Supreme Court rulings.” “I believe I actually have an answer.” He notes there’s a lot of problems with the “do not buy” list, as he characterizes it. He notes that most gun owners don’t really want to sell guns to felons. He’s basically hawking his proposal we linked to earlier. It almost sounds like using his system would be voluntary. He’s offering his proposal as an amendment. It would also protect the rights of veterans. He notes it would limit the power of ATF to issue demand letters. This would be a good thing, as this is often abused. Using the system would be free, it sounds like.
1:07PM: Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) is speaking about his amendment to protect the Second Amendment rights of veterans. It would restore rights for people who are unable to manage their own finances.
1:19PM: Chris Murphy (D-CT) is up. I’m sure this will be another sob story trying to emotionally blackmail others into voting his way. Chris Murphy is very angry. You know, they have counseling for that. He also notes that the firearm could fire six bullets a second. This is a lie. That is the cyclic rate of the M16, which is not the issue here. Lanza’s rifle as not an M16. These people can’t win without lying. They can’t even win lying now, fortunately. Now he’s hawking Manchin-Toomey. It’s the 40% lie again. He’s continuing the lie about these being military weapons. No military in the world issues a semi-automatic rifle.
1:33PM: Grassley is proposing his amendment, along with Cruz and Graham. He’s offering it as a substitute. There’s a bit of law-and-order Republican fun in this bill, but I’ll take that over Manchin-Toomey.
1:51PM: Grassley yields the floor and suggests the absence of a quorum. This forces a roll call and let’s the senate stay in session. This also likely means no one is immediately waiting to speak.
1:52PM: Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY) is up on the floor, explaining why there are some sticking points with some of these bills. He’s describing some of the troubles ordinary gun owners can run into having to do private sales through an FFL.
1:58PM: The floor goes silent again.
2:05PM: Jack Reed (D-RI) is up saying good thing about the Toomey-Manchin amendment.
2:09PM: Richard Shelby (R-AL) is now up pointing out that “this legislation,” whatever it might be at this point, wouldn’t have stopped Newtown.
2:20PM: Manchin is now asking Shelby a question on the floor. He asks about all the great things in his bill, according to him. Shelby responds that he fundamentally disagrees with his colleague on what these measures would do.
2:21PM: Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is up now. By the way, this is the kabuki. There will be a vote, that’s why they’re all wanting to have their say today. Lindsey Graham notes that there are thousands if not millions of magazines already out there that hold more than ten rounds. “It wouldn’t affect criminals one bit” Graham notes the best way to protect kids is to have a security officer present in the school. “Don’t kid yourself that having to reload is going to deter a shooter.” He’s recounting the story from Atlanta of the women who emptied a .38 revolver into a home invader, hit him 5 times and the guy drove off. “The reason I own [an AR-15] is that I like to shoot.” He’s noting that AR-15s are very good for times when law and order break down, like after a hurricane. This is a real concern for people who live in hurricane prone areas, like South Carolina. “It’s not the gun, it’s who owns it.” Graham notes that 1/3rd of assault in the US are by more than one attacker.
2:31PM: Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is up speaking of Boston. S.Res 101, condemning the attacks in Boston is brought up. The measure is agreed to via unanimous consent.
2:43PM: Senator Cowan (D-MA) is up speaking of Boston.
2:47PM: John McCain (R-AZ) is up explaining why he’s supporting Toomey-Manchin. McCain has always been for banning private sales, so this is not much of a surprise he’d get behind this.
2:52PM: The White House is e-mailing it’s list urging people to call.
2:53PM: McCain is explaining why he thinks Manchin-Toomey is constitutional. Like other supporters, he points to the utterly useless provision that creates a 15 year prison sentence for misusing records. Who’s going to enforce that?
2:57PM: Manchin thanks McCain for his support.
2:58PM: Tom Harkin (D-IA) offers an amendment related to mental health services.
3:07PM: Leahy (D-VT) is up now. He’s praising the Manchin-Toomey bill. He also has an amendment. S.Amend. 713. His amendment would seem to have to do with straw purchasing and illegal trafficking. I’m guessing this is an alternative to Gillibrand’s bill. Leahey decrees the Republican amendment “A weak and counterproductive alternative,” and complains that this was just sprung on them, and there have been no hearings. You know, kind of like what they tried to do with Manchin-Toomey.
3:20PM: Cruz is up defending Grassley-Cruz-Graham. Cruz brings up the PoliceOne Survey on the floor.
3:35PM: Schumer is challenging Cruz on background checks. Cruz argues that extending to private sellers is consequential, not trivial. Schumer is challenging that no one is attempting to create registration. Except that’s what the 4473 can easily become, and Toomey-Manchin does not prevent ATF from using 4473s from defunct FFLs.
3:37PM: Manchin notes that private transactions were excluded, except the truth is, the language is so bad. Cruz has the correct understanding of what this does, that it applies to any advertisement. Cruz notes that this is just very consequential. I agree. It’s confusing, and it could land people in jail through the confusion. If you ever advertised a gun for sale, you could then not sell it later in a private sale, even one not arranged through the Internet, unless they were family.
3:42PM: Manchin is challenging him on whether it isn’t best to wait 48 hours after introduction to vote on a bill or amendment. Cruz snarikly asks if Manchin wants to delay the coming vote, and that his colleague was part of the negotiations. Cruz knows it’s the dems that want to get this vote over with, so they can move on to other things.
3:43PM: Schumer is up now, appealing to make this a positive day, and vote for real gun control. He’s defending the Manchin-Toomey bill. Schumer says all this registration talk is paranoid delusions. What happens, Senator, to all the 4473s when gun dealers close?
3:48PM: Mike Johanns (R-NE): Speaking against Toomey-Manchin. He is cosponsoring Grassley-Cruz-Graham.
3:54PM: Toomey is up defending his deal. He’s noting the Second Amendment right doesn’t apply to children, criminals, and the mentally ill. He’s suggesting his bill does things the actual language of the bill just doesn’t support. Dave Kopel asks whether this means, in the Senator’s view, that Congress could ban practice by the young under adult supervision? Now he’s talking about the FOPA travel provisions, which are so poorly drafted as to be worse than useless, but that actually guts current FOPA protections.
4:00PM: TIME TO VOTE ON MANCHIN-TOOMEY
4:02PM: Manchin is up asking for votes for his and Toomey’s amendment. He, naturally, notes that the vote is For the Children (TM).
4:03PM: Grassley is up against Manchin’s amendments, noting background checks don’t work, and only work when combined with gun registration.
4:04PM: The roll is being called, so they can declare a quorum.
4:12PM: Voting is proceeding. Lautenberg is on the floor and voted. He was not expected to return to the Senate.
4:27PM: Manchin-Toomey goes down 54-46. It failed to achieve cloture.
4:29PM: The Grassley-Cruz-Graham substitute is up for a vote.
4:45PM: The Grassley-Cruz-Graham substitute fails 52-48.
4:46PM: The Leahy-Collins amendment is up for a vote. Cruz asks people to vote against, because it could ensnare honest citizens. This is the trafficking bill.
5:00PM: The Leahy-Collins Amendment fails 58-42.
5:03PM: Here we go with the National Concealed Carry Reciprocity Amendment.
5:04PM: Cornyn’s is speaking on behalf of his amendment, noting that it would be like a drivers’ license.
5:04PM: Schumer notes that every single police officer in America will tell you concealed carry would be a disaster. Really? He notes it’ll be mass chaos. Dogs and cats living together! It’s offensive to the New York way of life. Schumer should realize the Bill of Rights is a “way of life” for all Americans.
5:16PM: The Cornyn Amendment on National Reciprocity fails 57-43.
5:19PM: Feinstein Amendment banning so-called assault weapons and magazines holding more than ten rounds is up.
5:20PM: Feinstein is dismayed, which means I’m a happy camper. “Easy to shoot big clips!” “Large velocity guns.” She’s not making any sense at all. “This is a majority body!” We’ll see if she even cracks a majority. Oh man, she’s really upset. Good!
5:22PM: Chuck Grassley: “This would be the largest ban on guns in the history of our Republic.” Grassley goes on to describe how useless this kind of ban would be. He notes that it would not be constitutional. Grassley was getting pretty animated.
5:34PM: Feinstein Amendment goes down to defeat 40-60. DEFEATED!
5:40PM: The Burr Amendment is up.
5:40PM: Richard Burr (R-NC) speaks on behalf of his amendment to restore the gun rights of veterans who were puts in NICS because they can’t handle their own finances. This removes them without them having to petition.
5:41PM: Schumer is standing up against gun rights for veterans. Schumer is animated. He must really hate the rights of veterans.
6:00PM: The Burr Amendment fails by a vote of 56-44.
6:01PM: The Blumenthal-Lautenberg Amendment is up.
6:02PM: Senator Richard Blumenthal brings up the magazine ban, suggesting it’s only criminals who only use these things. But really, we ought to do this For the Children(TM).
6:03PM: Grassley rises in opposition, noting a study by the DOJ that showed the magazine ban had no affect on gun violence. He points out there are millions of these magazines out there, they are in common use, and the amendment is unconstitutional.
6:11PM: The Blumenthal-Lautenberg Amendment fails by a vote of 46-54. DEFEATED!
That will be all the voting on guns measures today. Voting on the Harkin Amendment will resume tomorrow. This has been a good day. Both magazine bans and gun bans failed to achieve even a bare majority.
Thus endeth our coverage for today.
149 Responses to “Live Coverage: The Senate Vote (Hopefully)”
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