Several Congressional Democrats are currently pushing to end the Senate filibuster so that they can pass what they are referring to as “common-sense” gun control measures.
These Democrats are using the recent Colorado shooting in order to make this push.
Before that shooting took place, House Democrats had already passed several pieces of gun control legislation, including one that would require universal background checks. The problem for the Democrats, however, is that they do not have enough support in the Senate to overcome the Senate filibuster, or the 60-vote threshold.
Accordingly, the Democrats are attempting to use the emotional atmosphere following the Colorado shooting to gain enough support to get rid of the filibuster.
One of the Democrats that are making this push is Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI). She did so on a recent appearance on MSNBC’s “Deadline.” There, she was asked by guest-hose Alex Wagner whether getting rid of the filibuster is “on the table” in order to pass gun control legislation.
“I would say so,” Hirono said. “It’s not just this issue, of course, on gun violence, but so many other matters that should be taken up. Note that the [$1.9 trillion coronavirus] rescue bill did not get a single Republican in either the House or Senate. So you can see the kind of obstructionist tactics that the Republicans will likely employ. I’m open to making changes so that Mitch McConnell and his caucus cannot block all of this progressive, meaningful legislation.”
A similar stance was taken by Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-TX) on Tuesday during an appearance on CNN’s “New Day.”
“We need to do away with the filibuster,” Escobar said, again speaking about getting gun control measures passed in the wake of the Colorado shooting. “What we’re seeing happening in America is Republicans in the Senate are more interested in eroding voting laws and increasing gun rights when really it should be the other way around.”
She continued: “We need to look at making sure that we have safe communities and that people aren’t afraid and terrified of going to the grocery store or going to a school. And the majority of Americans support common-sense gun violence prevention legislation, but we can’t get anything done in the Senate because a majority doesn’t rule. It’s the filibuster that rules.”
Biden is on board
Breitbart published an article this week indicating that President Joe Biden has met “secretly with historians to discuss [the] legacy of ending [the Senate] filibuster.”
Here, Breitbart was reporting on an article from Axios, in which the outlet wrote that “people close to Biden” said that Biden feels ready to put an end to the Senate filibuster in order to push through radical legislation.
The Democrats have been headed in the direction of ending the Senate filibuster for some time now. What they have been unable to do, though, is get all of their fellow Democrats on board. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), a key vote, has declared that he will “never” vote to end the Senate filibuster.