S. 649: 11th Hour

April 16th, 2013

Senate Democrats spent much of the last two days scrambling to rally the votes for their gun-control bill, but without much success. While there are still amendments to be debated, Majority Leader Harry Reid has called an end to the stalling, and it looks like a vote will be taken tomorrow at 4:00 PM.

Of course, Feinstein's still trying to shoehorn her Assault Weapons Ban into the bill, and Lautenberg's pushing his magazine ban. Neither of those help its chances.

On the Republican side, Senator Toomey seemed to be avoiding contact with the press, and the mood seemed dour. Dean Heller was expected to cross the aisle, but he issued a statement today saying he won't be voting for the bill. Mike Johanns of Nebraska has also refused to support it, and despite (or perhaps because of) some pretty manipulative comments by Mark Kelly, Jeff Flake appears disinclined as well.

My best prediction? 53-55 votes for the bill, which is still less than the 60 they need.

Is this the end of it? Not by a long shot. Even if another bill isn't introduced this session, we've got another before the 2014 midterms. If the Republican party can't get its act together and the Democrats whittle (or eliminate) their majority in the House, it may just be a waiting game.

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