The Senate approved the motion to proceed on S. 649 by a vote of 68-31. This means they will begin debating the issue. There had been talk of a fillibuster on this motion which evidently never materialized.
Voting for the motion to proceed were 16 Republicans while 2 Democrats voted against it.
Sixteen Republicans voted in favor of the motion, while two Democrats — both from states President Obama lost in the 2012 election, voted against it. The two Democrats were Sens. Mark Begich (Alaska) and Mark Pryor (Ark.), both of whom face reelection next year.
The sixteen Republicans who voted to proceed were Sens. Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), Kelly Ayotte (N.H.), Richard Burr (N.C.), Saxby Chambliss (Ga.), Tom Coburn (Okla.), Susan Collins (Maine). Bob Corker (Tenn.), Jeff Flake (Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (S.C.), Dean Heller (Nev.), John Hoeven (N.D.), Johnny Isakson (Ga.), Mark Kirk (Ill.), John McCain (Ariz.), Pat Toomey (Pa.) and Roger Wicker (Miss.).
I’m a bit surprised to see Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) on that list as he had agreed to fillibuster the bill earlier. If you’re a North Carolinian, a call to his office just might be in order.
Even before the roll was called, proponents of the most ambitious gun control package possible announced they had an agreement for an even more pivotal vote on Tuesday — on language embodying the bipartisan agreement, unveiled Wednesday, for expanding the reach of required background checks to cover customers at gun shows and online transactions, but not noncommercial sales. Background checks now are required only before sales at the country’s 55,000 licensed gun dealers.
The delay is because, knowing they were going to lose Thursday morning, the conservative orchestrators of the filibuster served notice they would insist on their right to delay the debate another 30 hours before any consideration of amendments could begin.
The outcome of the background check vote is still too far in the future to predict, and a huge wave of lobbying on both sides is sure to wash over middle-of-the road senators when they’re back in their home states this weekend. But the momentum seems to be with the authors of the compromise — Toomey and Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin III — a sense undoubtedly reinforced by the solid bloc of GOP support for taking up the bill in the first place.
Watching the odious Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) on C-Span a little earlie, he said that they would be taking amendments in this probable order: Manchin-Toomey, AWB, magazine bans, and then it woud be open to other amendments. He also pled with opponents to not fillibuster each and every amendment.