House Democrats No Bill No Break Breakdown plus Possible Solution

22 June 2016

Hello, again Insights.

Today, House Democrats began a sit-in and demanded that Congress won’t go to summer recess until a common sense gun bill passes. Minority whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said that “We will be sitting in until the House is allowed an opportunity to vote.”On Monday, four measures were up for a vote, and all four failed in the Senate. There have been no votes in the house, where it is a tougher battle due to the NRA’s stronger influence there.

What would need to happen for a bill to pass:

For a bill to pass the Senate, 60 votes are required. In the House, only a simple majority or 218 votes are needed to pass. Currently, here’s the breakdown of the houses by party affiliation.

Senate:

54 Republican

44 Democrat

2 Independent(both caucus with the Democrats)

House of Representatives:

247 Republicans

188 Democrats.

Part 2: Potential Solution.

Susan Collins(R-ME) is leading a bipartisan solution that would notify the FBI if someone on the terrorist watch list was about to purchase a firearm. Co-sponsors of the bill include Tim Kaine(D-VA), Heidi Heitkamp(D-ND), Lindsey Graham(R-SC), Kelly Ayotte(R-NH), Jeff Flake(R-AZ), Angus King(I-ME), Martin Heinrich(D-NM), and Bill Nelson(D-FL). We know that 60 votes are needed to pass the Senate. Assuming that all 44 Democrats and 2 Independents support it, 14 Republicans would need to support it. Four are co-sponsoring the bill, and Pat Toomey(PA) says he’ll endorse the bill. Dianne Feinstein proposed a similar measure that failed on Monday. The provision that would hopefully get pro-gun conservatives on board is because the bill doesn’t ban those on the terrorist watch list from purchasing firearms. Additionally, American citizens would be allowed to appeal a denial of a gun sale. The measure also has some concerns with Democrats, notably Chuck Schumer of New York. He says that there are issues, though they are fixable. He did not give details. Chris Murphy,  however, called the bipartisan proposal “progress.” This measure again would be attached to a spending bill. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that it may be attached to a Commerce, Justice, and Science spending bill. According to Vanity Fair, the bill could see a vote as early as tomorrow.

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