The Latest: Senate gun compromise survives, may not advance
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on congressional action on guns (all times local):
A bipartisan compromise on guns has cleared a procedural hurdle in the Senate, yet it’s not clear it will go any farther.
The bill by moderate Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine survived a motion that effectively would have killed it on a 46-52 vote. Collins’ bill would block people on the no-fly list from getting guns, but provide an appeals process to allow them to challenge the denial.
Still many Republicans say it doesn’t do enough to guarantee due process rights, and some support a competing measure by GOP Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin. Johnson’s measure also would keep guns out of terrorists’ hands but requires the Justice Department to go to court to do it. Democrats and a few Republicans say that bar is too high to clear.
Johnson’s bill was effectively shelved on a 67-31 vote. But even though Collins’ bill survived, the vote showed it lacked the 60-vote margin usually needed to pass on the Senate floor.
Republican leaders indicated plans to move on to other topics. No. 2 Republican Sen. John Cornyn says it’s time to do something “more constructive” as Democrats decried what they called show votes.
Democrats say their sit-in on guns succeeded even though they did not get the two votes they were seeking.
At a 3:30 a.m. news conference Thursday, Democrats said their efforts had raised awareness of the issue around the world, and they vowed to keep up the fight.
Democratic Rep. John Lewis of Georgia, who led the protest, said Democrats “crossed one bridge,” but said, “We have other bridges to cross.”
Lewis said Democrats “made a down payment on ending gun violence” in America, while Rep. Katherine Clark of Massachusetts said. “We had a victory for democracy. We stood up to the special interests.”
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Democrats “have changed the dynamic of what happens” on guns.
Before adjourning until July 5, Republican leaders reminded lawmakers about decorum on the House floor.
In particular, leaders reminded lawmakers that they are barred from using electronic devices to display audio or video recordings of House proceedings or take pictures on the House floor.
Democrats openly flaunted those rules throughout a sit-in that lasted until early Thursday. Lawmakers transmitted proceedings though smart-phone video distributed on social media such as Periscope and Facebook, and many tweeted photos of themselves on the House floor. GOP leaders cut off House cameras as the sit-in began, leaving Democrats to scramble for an alternative way to get their message out to the public.
GOP leaders said the rules were based on the notion that images from the House floor “might be taken to carry the imprimatur of the House.”