Rand Paul has a new filibuster in the works. The Kentucky Republican recently galvanized the nation’s attention with a nearly 13-hour stand against the unchecked use of drones by the Obama administration. When it comes to weapons a bit smaller than unmanned aerial vehicles, however, Rand is less passionate about government oversight.
He and tea party favorite Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) will filibuster the motion to proceed to debate on gun legislation, the pair told Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) Tuesday in a letter obtained by Politico.
But the Paul-Cruz effort will look much different than Paul’s channeling of “Mr. Smith Goes To Washington.” In fact, it won’t look anything at all like his prior effort. Under Senate rules, if Reid can’t get broad bipartisan support to move to debate a bill, he needs unanimous consent. Paul and Cruz are threatening to withhold that consent, which launches a silent filibuster.
Backers of filibuster reform have argued previously that, at a minimum, Reid should eliminate the ability to filibuster a motion to proceed. Reid declined the opportunity, but has since expressed frustration that gridlock continues.
Politico’s Jonathan Allen reported:
Conservatives are concerned that once that bill reaches the floor, amendments could stiffen restrictions on gun control. Moreover, they understand that Reid intends to allow liberal amendments that would limit clip [sic] capacity and ban certain assault weapons to be offered — even though they would be defeated — to give Democrats a chance to vote on them. For moderate Democrats in competitive states, that amounts to an opportunity to vote no and show allegiance to gun rights.
Source: The Huffington Post.