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Friday, September 30, 2016

Biden Pushes Congress On Gun Reform As GOP Filibuster Beaten Back

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Updated at 4:45 p.m. ET

At a gathering of the nation’s top law enforcement officers on Tuesday afternoon, Attorney General Eric Holder and Vice President Joe Biden pushed Congress to act on the gun safety recommendations put forth by their task force, which was formed following the mass shooting this past December at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT.

Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill, more than a half-dozen Republican senators announced their opposition to a gun reform filibuster threat, allowing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) to schedule a vote to proceed this Thursday.

Biden said he hosted 13 Newtown family members for breakfast at his home on Tuesday morning, saying he wished members of Congress could have listened to the discussion. He said one woman whose little girl was hiding in the bathroom and was shot through the heart asked Biden how members of Congress can explain not doing anything.

“Don’t they understand? They’re talking about filibustering. What are they doing?” said Biden. “Why don’t people up there understand this? What has to happen to break through the consciousness of people up on the Hill? The public is so far beyond where the Congress is, so far ahead of the way they’re talking.”

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At one point, Biden held up a piece of paper showing how easy it is to conduct a background check and dispelling the misinformation perpetuated by the NRA. The gun lobby group and others trying to stop any action “are in a time warp,” he said, and the nation has moved ahead on this issue.

On Monday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) joined 13 other Republican senators planning to filibuster gun reform legislation at the same time President Obama was in Connecticut making an emotional plea for stronger gun laws. In calling out the politicians prepared to block legislation from being debated on the Senate floor, the president told the crowd, “They’re saying your opinion doesn’t matter, and that’s not right” as the audience booed and then stood up and chanted “We want a vote!”

While McConnell joins the far-right fringe of his party on gun safety legislation, a pro-Democratic SuperPAC on Tuesday unveiled an online campaign calling the senator — who is up for re-election in 2014 — “Washington’s top roadblock” who is “deep in hock to extreme special interests.”

CBS News reported on Tuesday that all 14 Republican senators who plan to filibuster denied requests for interviews with the network. However, the news outlet did secure an interview with Georgia Republican senator Johnny Isakson, who said he will not join the filibuster and that gun safety legislation deserves a “vote up or down.” Georgia’s other Republican senator, Saxby Chambliss, on Tuesday also said he opposes a filibuster, saying “I don’t think I’m going to support that. I just don’t think it’s the right thing to do.”

On Face the Nation last Sunday, John McCain (R-AZ) blasted the filibuster threat, saying “I don’t understand it. The purpose of the United States Senate is to debate and to vote and to let the people know where we stand.” The six other Republican senators saying they will not join the filibuster are Lindsey Graham (SC), Tom Coburn (OK), Mark Kirk (IL), Kelly Ayotte (NH), and Susan Collins (ME), which means the Democrats have enough votes to proceed. Also, Jeff Flake (AZ) appears to be leaning towards not joining the filibuster.

In a last-ditch bipartisan effort to move the Senate forward on gun reform legislation, Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) are working on a compromise universal background checks bill,  which 9 out of 10 Americans support. New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns group — which announced a new A-to-F grading system for members of Congress similar to the NRA’s scorecard — is running ads in Pennsylvania supporting Toomey’s stance on expanding federal background checks to all gun sales.

Also on Tuesday, Reid took to the Senate floor to give an emotional speech urging his colleagues to vote on tougher gun laws, citing his own father’s suicide. “In Nevada, if you purchase a handgun you have to wait three days to pick it up. And it’s believed that alone has saved the lives of many people. Sometimes people in a fit of passion will purchase a handgun to do bad things with it, Mr. President, even as my dad did, killed himself. Waiting a few days helps.”

Said Biden: “Now it’s time for every man and woman in the Senate to stand up and say yay or nay, I’m for or against. It’s time for them to say what they think. What should or should not be done to diminish the possibility of another Sandy Hook or reduce the number of dead over the next 113 days below 3,300.”

“We are going to win this fight. This is not going away. The American public will not stand for it.”

The full event can be seen here.

Photo: WhiteHouse.gov

  • Easy is not the point! not giving in to the Dems is the point and going against the gun lobby!!

  • Pamby50

    The job of the senate is to debate a bill. That they don’t even want to have a debate is sad. Then you’re going to have to vote.

    • Independent1

      Filibustering bills often results in no votes ever being taken on them because it takes 60 votes to shut one down. What’s especially disturbing is that the GOP has used the filibuster more than 400 times over the past couple of years to prevent bills from coming up for a vote. That’s why very little has been accomplished in the Senate over the past 4 years. The gutless GOP has used the filibuster more in the past few years than it had been used since the term was first used by Democratic congressman Albert G. Brown of Mississippi in 1853, referring to Abraham Watkins Venable’s speech against “filibustering” intervention in Cuba.]

  • grannyk8

    The filibuster gives cover to those too cowardly to vote their position.

    • lana ward

      If students were carrying guns today, 14 people wouldn’t have been slashed to bits, you fool!!

      • grannyk8

        Oh, would that include the “slasher” too? 🙂

        • lana ward

          Dems have no common sense

          • grannyk8

            You’re the one who wanted him to have a gun; he is a student there.

          • lana ward

            It is time to ban all knifes and everything else that is sharp. Right?

          • grannyk8

            Time to take your meds.

          • WhutHeSaid

            Well, one thing’s for sure — YOU will never have to worry about being banned on the basis of being too sharp. Did you notice that nobody who was stabbed died? Knives ARE already restricted in a similar way: Many localities ban the carrying of knives 6 inches in length or above to limit the deadliness of using it as a weapon against people.

          • lana ward

            If any of those kids had had a gun, 14 wouldn’t have been sliced. Blunt instruments kill more people than guns do, should we ban all blunt instruments

          • WhutHeSaid

            So you would advocate banning yourself? I must point out here that stupidity can be deadly — is this what you mean?

          • Independent1

            That’s a blatant lie! Guns kill almost as many people as cars – over 30,000 per year. You have absoluetly no facts to back up your statement.

          • lana ward

            You’re the blatant liar, not me. Blunt instruments kill more people than guns do, so shut up until you know what you’re talking about. I do have facts but you’re so nice–look them up yourself!!!

          • Independent1

            There you go Lana, sounding like Mitt Romney again. Just like Mitt, every time he was pressed for facts he couldn’t come up with any; just like you can’t. You’re nothing but a typical Republican who knows how to do nothing but lie. Here’s some facts for you: There were an average of 14,500 to 15,000 murders in the US over the past 3 years with an average of 11,000 of them caused by GUNS. So tell me Lana how deaths each year by blunt instruments, knives, you name it, could exceed deaths caused by guns!!! And you know why Lana, because just having a gun in ones hands makes people do something they would otherwise never do – KILL SOMEONE!!. In total, there are about 52,000 deliberate, and 23,000 accidental shootings every year that either cause death or injury (that’s 75,000 shootings Lana per year!!). Of the 30,000 gun deaths, about 11,000 of them are murders and 19,000 are suicides.

            There, I gave you some facts that prove without question that nothing you say is remotely related to the truth. And that’s because Republicans today know absolutely nothing about the truth. Even if they themself don’t lie, they listen to and elect people who they know full well are lying, and that makes them just as quilty as the liars in the eyes of us non Republicans (Independents and Dems) and even to God. And you know where God has said liars will go, don’t you!!

          • lana ward

            Sorry about that, more people are killed with blunt instruments than are killed with rifles. More people are killed with fists than are killed with rifles. Are we going to ban those?? Look it up , Obama DID eliminate those programs from schools, like it or not

          • Joyce Young

            oh pleaseeeeeee just shut up!

          • lana ward

            I know the truth hurts–but FUC* YOU, bitch!!

          • lana ward

            That murdering “drs.” name is Kermit Gosnell not Gosner

          • lana ward

            Austin City Council member and potential next Mayor Mike Martinez, admitted during a speech that the Obama agenda is total gun ban. He admitted a plan to confiscate all guns–I told you that was his goal. He doesn’t give a rip about kids, he wants our guns so he can be dictator!! Heil Hitler!!!

      • Independent1

        You don’t know that for a fact. The slasher was slashing people so fast and running around the campus so quickly that even someone with a gun might not have stopped him before most of those slashed were already slashed. Guns ARE NOT the solution to everything!!! And has it occurred to you that had someone had a gun, the way the slasher was dashing around, someone using a gun to stop the slasher may have actually killed an innocent person in the process? I doubt it – clueless people like you Lana don’t think beyond the moment.

        • lana ward

          Dems have no common sense, just excuses

          • WhutHeSaid

            Yes, yes — that’s exactly what Satan wants to hear. You must be his number one disciple.

          • lana ward

            Dems have no common sense, why?

          • Joyce Young

            you are really pathetic

          • lana ward

            And you really have no common sense, idiot!!

        • lana ward

          Did you know awhile back Obama cut the $200 million school safety funding? He cut school training, security equipment and police resources? He eliminated the school protection program which provided $800 million to place local police officers inside our schools. Had these still been in place, these school shootings would not have happened!!! Obama causes disasters, then wants to take our guns because of his mistakes. He doesn’t care about the kids or he wouldn’t have eliminated these programs. The kids safety is NOT why he wants our guns!!!

          • Lana, Lana, Lana….did you know that you are either a total Looney Toons character or you have absolutely NO idea what you are talking about ? To imply that having funding of ANY sort would have prevented what happened at the school is pure, unadulterated BS perpetuated by a misinformed or ignorant or hard core partisan right wignut. Do your homework or leave your ideological BS at the door, you are embarrassing yourself.

          • lana ward

            Why do all of you morons say stupid things when I tell you the truth about your dictator?? None of you have any common sense you are so brainwashed by that idiot

          • Joyce Young

            you just like to be confrontational don’t you Lana? you are really a piece of work. you are like a clown in a circus who wants to be the center of attention. go thump your bible someplace else. I have a feeling you are one of those people

          • lana ward

            Right now Kermit Gosner is on trial for murdering babies. Investigators found jars of baby feet and hands. Doesn’t that just make you feel warm and fuzzy all over?? One of his workers on the stand said she heard a baby screaming at the hands of Gosner!!! So you go thump on that!!

          • Independent1

            You know Lana, I’m starting to think you should run for President just like Mitt Romney. You have the same snakeoil talent that he and lying Ryan had: make up and tell one lie and distortion after another. Do you have the same lie factory writers that Romney and Ryan did?? They never seemed to run out of them – Romeny even appeared to win a couple of the debates with Obama in the minds of the totally clueless – just spewing one lie and distrortion after another, so fast that many slow thinking people watching the debates actually fell for his total BS. Is that where you got the idea and training to come to the National Memo to try and con the us posters here with all your lies and distortions? Sorry, just like Romney, you’re failing miserably!!!!

          • lana ward

            You fools are amazing!! You won’t believe anything bad about Obama just like the MSM won’t report anything bad about him.Don’t you think that is odd that your leader is perfect?? I thought maybe there was hope for you–there isn’t

      • RobertCHastings

        No, Lana, like with the police shooting of the suspected Dorner vehicle in California a few weeks ago, MANY more would have been killed in missdirected crossfire. When police, who are trained in the safe and accurate use of sidearms, get involved on the streets in shootouts, the vast majority of their shots go astray, striking buildings, cars, innocent civilians, etc. Had there been armed kids on that campus, it is extremely likely that someone not even remotely connected to Dylan Quick would have been shot.

  • Louis Klugh

    There are men who use weapons as symbols of their manhood. They feel more like real men. But this has to be something more than that. I think its simply another manifestation of how the rich can manipulate government, in this case by wrapping themselves into the Constitution, or at least the second amendment of it to the neglect of the rest of the Constitution and Amendments. If the trend continues, there will be more rich Congressmen but a much weaker government and it doesn’t bode well for the future of this country which is already showing signs of decline because we are too timid to bolster education and medical care sufficiently. Maybe we can return to the middle ages with a billionaire ruling each state and the former middle class doing the work and receiving a small part of their production for themselves.

    • Independent1

      You’ve grasped the picture of the GOP’s intentions; let’s set America back to the dark ages so those of us who already have the money can take it easy and enjoy our wealth to the fullest extent without having to put up with the peons.

  • I hope the republicans block the vote. The new laws will not do any good. the Sandyhook shooter broke several laws and did it stop him nope so what will more laws, do nothing

  • ralphkr

    OK, that makes 6 Senators who shall disappear when they lose to a “real” Republican in the primaries.

  • ridemybroom

    you know its sad to say that we got people in congress who doesn’t give a damn about what happens to their fellow people…im so ashamed of this country and the ways of governing laws til it pathetic…maybe someone should take ak 47 or an assault rifle to these people house and shoot them….ya think it would change their minds…?…these people, our elected citizens, doesn’t care about you nor me…so why should we care about them…what the hell is wrong with the republicans!….I don’t understand why anyone would need and assault rifle to kill any animal and a magazine clip that holds 10 rounds or more…are they insane !?….tougher gun laws is the way on this and banning assault weapons and high powered clips is the way to go…most people these days want ammunition and hoarding because they afraid God is coming and they want to be ready to shoot him…this is a sad situation and anyone who doesn’t concede to tougher gun laws …you are as violent as the people who produce these mass murders and not only violent but guilty as well…you helped pulled that trigger and why you in congress is above me… idiots and insane people put you in office and ARA is just as violent…and you people who go out and kill theses poor defensive animals who cant protect themselves….trust me on this….God Will Get Even ….you may sit there and think not while you read this but he will get even …..God said to be kind to Dumb animals….to wayne lapierre…you are one nasty sonofabitch…your comments the other day was a little bit overboard and hopefully someone will put you in your place,,,you need to step down and get out of the business….when you die and you meet your maker say good riddance forever…cause you gone !!….there is no place in this world or the next for you or for people like you…think this country ought to deport yo behind to Russia and let you live your days out there….be the best thing that could happen to you and anyone else like you and send the 14 republicans with you….you people are a disgrace to this country and to this world…your wickedness will do you in…you some dirty bastards…….

  • tdm3624

    I agree with Sen. Mcain that “The purpose of the United States Senate is to debate and to vote and to let the people know where we stand.” Vote and move the bill to the House.

  • tobewan

    What happened to the idea of publishing the names of those who bankroll those who are so opposed to new rules aimed at reducing gun-violence?

    Those financial connections should be published LOUD and CLEAR – repeatedly – everywhere possible!

  • rustacus21

    This is still no victory, so long as assault weapons are not part of the gun safety legislation. What are they good for, afterall? There simply isn’t a rational, justifiable need to have such a weapon among civilian populations. The 2nd Amendment commands that, in the excusatory context, ‘WELL REGULATED’ is part of the context in which citizens RESPONSIBLY possess firearms of ANY TYPE!!! This point was overpowered by lobbyists & should be the other way around. As Michael Moore so eloquently put it… “…we’re the majority & we should start ACTING LIKE IT!!!…” (emphasis added)… & it’s time we stop using conservatives as a basis for a reality they openly REJECT! Now how crazy is that? More importantly, WHOSE crazy? They who don’t even have a grasp, or we Liberal/Progressives for accepting their ‘versions’ of reality?! Just curious…