In Wake of San Bernardino Shooting, Manchin-Toomey Gun-Control Bill Fails Again

The latest tragedy didn’t do much to change the calculus in the Senate.

An investigator on Thursday looks at a black SUV that was involved in a police shootout with suspects in San Bernardino, California Wednesday.
AP Photo/Jae C. Hong
Sarah Mimms
Add to Briefcase
Sarah Mimms
Dec. 3, 2015, 5:28 p.m.

Just one day after shoot­ers in San Bern­ardino, Cali­for­nia killed 14 people and in­jured 17 more, the Sen­ate again voted down a bi­par­tis­an gun-con­trol bill.

The gun-con­trol le­gis­la­tion, ini­tially craf­ted by Re­pub­lic­an Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and Demo­crat­ic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Vir­gin­ia in the wake of the New­town, Con­necti­c­ut ele­ment­ary school shoot­ings in 2012, failed on a 48-50 vote. The bill would re­quire back­ground checks for all gun sales in­clud­ing at gun shows and on­line, though not for the trans­fer of guns between friends and fam­ily mem­bers.

Four Re­pub­lic­ans—Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Mark Kirk of Illinois, John Mc­Cain of Ari­zona, and Toomey him­self—voted in fa­vor of the meas­ure. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, who also op­posed the bill in 2013, was the only Demo­crat to op­pose the amend­ment. All of the votes on Thursday were identic­al to those cast in 2013. Heitkamp is the only Demo­crat to vote against the ori­gin­al bill who re­mains in Con­gress, and all four Re­pub­lic­an sup­port­ers also backed the le­gis­la­tion two years ago.

Demo­crats tried to at­tach the bill as an amend­ment to Re­pub­lic­ans’ re­con­cili­ation bill, which would over­turn key as­pects of the Af­ford­able Care Act and is ex­pec­ted to pass later Thursday. The move is part of a heightened ef­fort by Demo­crats in Con­gress to raise the is­sue of gun con­trol in the wake of re­cent tra­gedies, made slightly iron­ic by the fact that Pres­id­ent Obama in­tends to veto the fi­nal bill and that no Demo­crat is ex­pec­ted to sup­port it.

But Thursday’s vote al­lowed Demo­crats an­oth­er op­por­tun­ity to put Re­pub­lic­ans on the re­cord against the le­gis­la­tion that has be­come a ral­ly­ing cry for gun-con­trol sup­port­ers both in Con­gress and in the coun­try at large. The ini­tial Manchin-Toomey bill in 2013, which fell just six votes short of pas­sage, was a ma­jor blow to gun-con­trol sup­port­ers.

Manchin and Toomey have been work­ing to­geth­er since June to re­vive their le­gis­la­tion, fol­low­ing a shoot­ing at a church in Char­le­ston, South Car­o­lina that killed nine people. The polit­ic­al odd couple have said that they are open to re­form­ing the le­gis­la­tion—which was brought up in its ori­gin­al 2013 form on Thursday—in or­der to at­tract suf­fi­cient votes for pas­sage.

Manchin, who noted that he is him­self a “law-abid­ing gun own­er,” touted the le­gis­la­tion be­fore Thursday’s vote, call­ing it a bi­par­tis­an bill that “makes all the sense in the world” and “does not in­fringe on the rights of a per­son­al [gun] trans­ac­tion.”

“This is the most com­mon-sense [bill] sup­por­ted by an over­whelm­ing ma­jor­ity of Amer­ic­ans and a ma­jor­ity of law-abid­ing gun own­ers in Amer­ica. … Please sup­port this,” Manchin said. “It’s ba­sic­ally something that’s long, long over­due.”

Sen. Chuck Grass­ley, one of the Re­pub­lic­ans to op­pose the meas­ure, ar­gued that the bill “won’t pre­vent the next shoot­ing or re­duce crime or fix our men­tal-health sys­tem.” Grass­ley ad­ded be­fore the vote: “We need to also be wor­ried about pro­tect­ing [the] Second Amend­ment.”

What We're Following See More »
SAYS MBS CAN NEVER BE A WORLD LEADER
Graham Threatens Sanctions on Saudi Arabia
9 minutes ago
THE LATEST

“I’m not going back to Saudi Arabia as long as" Mohammed Bin Salman is in charge, Sen. Lindsey Graham said on Fox News today. “I’ve been their biggest defender on the floor of the United States Senate. This guy is a wrecking ball. He had [Khashoggi] murdered in a consulate in Turkey and to expect me to ignore it, I feel used and abused. The MBS figure is to me toxic, he can never be a world leader on the world stage.” Graham added that he intends to "sanction the hell out of Saudi Arabia.”

Source:
INTERROGATION GONE WRONG
Report: Saudis Planning to Admit to Khashoggi Killing
19 hours ago
THE LATEST
TURKEY STILL DECRIES LACK OF COOPERATION
Saudis Will Let Turkish Officials Search Embassy
1 days ago
THE LATEST

"Saudi Arabia has given Turkey permission to search its Istanbul consulate Monday afternoon, a Turkish diplomatic source told CNN. Saudi officials first granted permission for the consulate to be searched last week, but later asked for a delay and no search has yet taken place. Turkish officials also want to search the nearby consul general's residence, and have repeatedly accused the Saudis of failing to cooperate with their investigation."

Source:
"OUR SAUDI ARABIAN CITIZEN"
Pompeo To Discuss Khashoggi With Saudi King
1 days ago
THE LATEST
INTENDS TO CALL BY MONDAY
Trump Says He'll Call MBS to Ask About Khashoggi
1 days ago
THE LATEST

"President Trump said he plans to call Saudi Arabian King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud about the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Trump spoke on Saturday during an appearance in the Oval Office with Pastor Andrew Brunson, who was recently released by the Turkish government."

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login