Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has put the vote on HR 1808, the Assault Weapons Ban of 2021, on hold.
Yesterday, she posted this:
Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi released this statement on negotiations around a package of public safety bills the House will consider:
“For safer communities, Members have been working on a package of critical public safety bills. As those discussions are continuing, it is clear that the House will reconvene in August in order to vote for the Reconciliation bill. We are grateful to all our Members for promoting our shared values reflected in specific legislation that we can all support.
“Right now, we are preparing to take up the CHIPS and Science Act from the Senate and Members are engaged in advocating for the PACT Act in the Senate.”
In other words, she could not round up enough votes to pass the new AWB so Democrats are going to focus on the exposure of veterans to toxins. At least that will help those that served.
It’s called whipping the vote. And when you whip and don’t have the 218 needed, you pull the bill to avoid a public relations debacle. Pelosi had to yank the bill because a few Democrats from moderate districts didn’t want to vote on an unpopular gun grab bill months before elections.
That said, Pelosi has during the break to twist arms. Don’t consider the bill as being dead.
The fact it doesn’t have the votes to pass the Senate regardless of what the House does has added to the difficulty of the election-year vote as well.
John Bresnahan, who has spent decades covering Capitol Hill and co-founded Punchbowl, said the bill isn’t doomed yet. He said Pelosi needs more time to try and please progressive members and those from the Congressional Black Caucus as well as moderates. The former want the ban and limits on how police funds can be used, while the latter are leery of the ban and pushing for the funding.
“I think the window is still open,” Bresnahan told The Reload. “When you get that close, you don’t just walk away from it.”
He said Pelosi can afford up to four defections from Democrats and still be able to pass the bill. With somewhere over 210 members already on record supporting the bill, leadership only needs to bring a few more on board. The failure to corral a vote before the recess is a notable setback, but Bresnahan said Democrats have until the end of September to figure out how to get their caucus to agree.
So keep writing and calling your representatives. This is especially true for those readers represented by a Democrat who might be on the fence. Remind them of 1994 and what happened to Democrats in that election.