Sens. Rand Paul, R- KY., Ted Cruz, R-TX., and Mike Lee, R-UT., are threatening to filibuster the gun-control legislation Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV., plans to introduce after the current Senate recess, reports Politico.
“We will oppose the motion to proceed to any legislation that will serve as a vehicle for any additional gun restrictions,” the three conservatives wrote in a copy of the signed letter they plan to hand-deliver to Reid’s office on Tuesday.
Reid intends to bring up a gun-control measure focusing on broadening background checks and cracking down on interstate gun trafficking when the Senate reconvenes April 8.
Gun Control: Was Harry Reid right to Reject It?
Conservatives are concerned that once that bill reaches the floor, amendments could tighten restrictions on gun control.
They are also aware that Reid intends to allow liberal amendments that would limit clip capacity and ban certain assault weapons to be offered.
Even though these amendments have little if any chance of passing, it would give Democrats an opportunity to vote on them. For moderate Democrats in competitive states, that amounts to a chance to vote no and show their support of gun rights.
Though Paul, Cruz and Lee never use the word “filibuster” in their letter, the senators make it clear that they would filibuster on an initial procedural question — the motion to proceed.
Lee staged a test vote on the issue during consideration of the Senate budget last week.
He attempted to amend a point of order against gun control legislation to the budget but came up short. It needed a three-fifths super majority and at 50-49, lacked the necessary 60 votes to pass.
However, the final tally emboldened Lee, Paul and Cruz because they were so close to a majority and a filibuster takes just 41 votes to sustain.
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