Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) will be pushing the vote on Dr. Vivek Murthy this coming week. According to the tweet posted on Saturday by Adam Jentleson, Reid’s Communications Director, the vote on cloture will be this week. Thanks to a change in a Senate rules pushed through by Reid last year, Murthy nomination will only need a simple majority to invoke cloture and be confirmed.
Senator Reid has filed cloture on the nomination of Dr. Vivek Murthy to be Surgeon General. Confirmation vote will be early next week.
— Adam Jentleson (@AJentleson) December 13, 2014
Reid is evidently trying to make the most of his remaining time as Majority Leader. Murthy cleared a procedural vote on Saturday by a vote of 52-40 that allows his nomination to come to a vote. Voting in favor of bringing his nomination to a vote include so-called pro-Second Amendment lame duck Democrats Kay Hagan (D-NC), Mark Pryor (D-AR), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), and Mark Begich (D-AK). It is interesting to see how being a lame duck brings out their true colors.
Dr. Vivek Murthy co-founded Doctors for Obama in 2008 which later became Doctors for America. He is profoundly anti-gun and views firearm ownership as a public health issue.
From the NRA-ILA on Murthy’s nomination and his anti-gun views:
A recent letter sent to Congress by “Doctors for America,” and signed by Dr. Murthy, urges mandatory licensing “for anyone purchasing guns and ammunition–including mandatory firearm safety training and testing.” Under Dr. Murthy’s scheme, further regulations would place “limits on the purchase of ammunition,” and establish a “mandatory waiting period of at least 48 hours.”
In the letter, Dr. Murthy also advocates for a “federal ban on the sale” of popular semi-automatic firearms and their ammunition, and proposes a “buyback” of these popular types of firearms to “reduce the number… that are currently in circulation.” Even some of the most ardent anti-gun researchers, along with the Department of Justice, have admitted the futility of gun “buyback” programs.
Another of Dr. Murthy’s proposals would strip vital privacy protections put in place to protect firearm owners and prevent the fracturing of physician-patient relationships. The letter, for example, calls for removing “the provision in the Affordable Care Act and other federal policies that prohibit physicians from documenting gun ownership.” While some advocates of the ACA had argued the provision prohibiting such documentation was unnecessary, given that the ACA had nothing to do with guns, Dr. Murthy obviously sees the ACA as playing a role in gun control.
And, in late 2012 and early 2013, Dr. Murthy took to his personal Twitter account to promote his gun control beliefs, including a statement on October 16, 2012, that “Guns are a health care issue.”
While the Surgeon General has no real power to effect change, he can use the position as a bully pulpit to push issues.
I’d suggest a call and email to your two Senators ASAP. You can get a list of their phone numbers and email contact pages here. Even if you know your Senators are anti-gun, call or email anyway. It still puts them on notice.
UPDATE: A copy of the letter that the NRA-ILA’s Chris Cox sent to Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell regarding Murthy can be seen here. The most salient takeaway from the letter is that they are going to score the vote on Murthy. Of course, this means nothing to the Democrats who lost but at least it should hold the Republicans in line.