Democrats have been throwing a big hissy fit since the gun control bill failed in the Senate earlier this week. There’s one little detail they aren’t telling you, though. It probably could have passed if President Obama and Harry Reid didn’t want to stifle debate.
A word, first, about that Senate “minority.” Majority Leader Harry Reidwas free to bring the deal struck by West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin and Pennsylvania Republican Pat Toomey to the floor for an up-or-down vote, and this background-checks amendment might have passed. It did convince 54 Senators, including four Republicans.
But under Senate rules, a simple majority vote would have opened the measure to up to 30 hours of debate, which would have meant inspecting the details. The White House demanded, and Mr. Reid agreed, that Congress should try to pass the amendment without such a debate.
Majority rules would have also opened the bill to pro-gun amendments that were likely to pass. That would have boxed Mr. Reid into the embarrassing spectacle of having to later scotch a final bill because it also contained provisions that the White House loathes. So Mr. Reid moved under “unanimous consent” to allow nine amendments, each with a 60-vote threshold.
Read the whole thing, they also wanted to make sure that amendments offered by Republicans didn’t receive a vote.
This had nothing to do with saving lives or preventing future crimes and everything to do with politics and defeating the NRA.