Three Republican Senators have announced they will filibuster any gun restrictions, writing to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid the week after he said universal background checks would be included in a final gun bill. Reid had previously announced the assault weapons ban would not be included in the Senate’s gun package because it lacked the votes.
“We, the undersigned, intend to oppose any legislation that infringe on the American people’s constitutional right to bear arms, or on their ability to exercise this right without being subjected to government surveillance,” Sens. Rand Paul, R-Ky., Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Ted Cruz, R-Texas wrote in the letter, according to FOX News.
For gun control advocates in the Senate who may have more than 50 votes in support of measures like background checks but not the 60 required to override a filibuster, this news is frustrating but not surprising.
“The threshold is not a majority, it’s 60 votes,” said Sen. Blumenthal in an interview last week, before the three senators made this announcement. “I voted to abolish the filibuster in one of my very first votes in the US Senate…precisely because the majority often fails to prevail.”