Senator Max Baucus, of Montana, one of only four Democrats to vote against background check legislation, will retire instead of seek reelection in 2014, aides said Tuesday.
The Manchin-Toomey Amendment, a compromise on background checks, failed in the Senate last week, leading to the total defeat of gun legislation and spurring an angry response from Democrats and other advocates who vowed that those who voted against the measure would “pay the political price.”
“I don’t know what’s worse, that the NRA lied or that they got away with it,” said Sen. Murphy on a conference call after the vote. The organization has immense lobbying power and aggressively targets candidates that support gun control–a strategy that has paid off if last week’s vote is any indication.
Three of the four Democrats who voted against gun control are up for re-election in 2014, and the assumption was they feared challengers who, backed by the pro-gun lobby, would target them for a yes vote. Baucus, however, does not seem to have been motivated by political gain.