McConnell Threatens to Join Paul, Cruz Gun Filibuster

Tuesday, 09 Apr 2013 11:16 AM

By Melanie Batley

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is threatening to join a planned filibuster against new gun-control legislation if Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid tries to move a bill this week.

According to Politico
, the move would prevent a vote on Reid’s proposal, which includes expanded background checks for gun sales, new federal funding for security in schools, and plans to make trafficking of guns a federal crime.

Some Republicans say they want to stall the legislation until a bipartisan deal can be reached on background checks. But a number of GOP senators led by Rand Paul of Kentucky, Ted Cruz of Texas, and Mike Lee of Utah have announced plans to filibuster any gun control legislation. McConnell’s threat could lend new momentum to their effort.

Gun Control: Was Harry Reid right to Reject It?

“While nobody knows yet what Senator Reid’s plan is for the gun bill, if he chooses to [vote to end the debate] on the motion to proceed to the Reid Bill (S. 649), Senator McConnell will oppose [closing the debate] on proceeding to that bill,” a McConnell spokesman said in a statement, according to Politico.

If McConnell makes good on his threat, he’ll stand with 13 other Republicans who have signed on to the filibuster plan orchestrated by Paul, Cruz, and Lee.

Reid, a Democrat from Nevada, criticized the filibuster plan on Monday, saying, “Every one of these measures deserves a vote, a yes or no.”

On Sunday, Republican Sen. John McCain echoed Reid’s position, telling CBS’s “Face the Nation” that he doesn’t understand the reasoning behind the filibuster threat.

“The purpose of the United States Senate is to debate and to vote, and let the people know where we stand,” McCain said. “I would not only encourage it, I don’t understand it. What are we afraid of?”

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