Posted 48 days ago
The Senate voted 65 to 34 to end a Republican-led filibuster on the gun reform package, clearing another important hurdle, with final Senate passage coming as early as later Thursday.
Senators were working on an agreement that would allow them to expedite the process and schedule a final vote Thursday night instead of waiting the obligatory 30 hours after a filibuster vote.
Then the House could pick up the package and pass it by the end of the week.
President Joe Biden said Monday he was ready to sign the gun bill, but he's flying to Germany and then onto Spain Saturday morning for G7 and NATO meetings, so it's unclear if he'll have time to sign the legislation before he departs.
The vote comes after an initial 64-34 procedural vote taken in the Senate Tuesday night, with 14 Republicans joining all 50 Democrats in voting in the affirmative.
Sen. Kevin Cramer, a North Dakota Republican, wasn't present for the vote due to suffering a 'severe' hand injury after trying to remove a boulder in his yard.
Among those voting for the bill was Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
McConnell said it was a 'commonsense package of popular steps that will help make these horrifying incidents less likely while fully upholding the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens.'
Republican Texas Sen. John Cornyn was one of the chief negotiators, as there were fresh calls for stricter gun control laws in the aftermath of the Uvalde, Texas elementary school shooting.
The same group of Republicans voted in favor of breaking the filibuster Thursday, with the addition of Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey, who wasn't on hand for the first vote.
Other Republicans who voted yea include Sens. Roy Blunt, Richard Burr, Shelley Moore Capito, Bill Cassidy, Susan Collins, Joni Ernst, Lindsey Graham, Lisa Murkowski, Rob Portman, Mitt Romney, Thom Tillis and Todd Young.
The 80-page compromise legislation would toughen background checks for younger gun buyers, bolster background check requirements and beef up penalties for gun traffickers.
The bill would also prohibit romantic partners convicted of domestic abuse who are not married to their victims from getting firearms.
Convicted abusers who are married to, live with or had children with their victims are already barred from having guns.
Additionally, $750million would be provided to the 19 states that have 'red flag' laws making it easier to temporarily take firearms from people adjudged dangerous, and to other states with violence prevention programs.
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