Senate Democrats end marathon filibuster, announce Republicans agree to gun-control vote
Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) ended a blockade of the Senate floor after nearly 15 hours Thursday, announcing that Republican leaders agreed to hold votes on Democrat-backed measures to expand background checks and prevent suspected terrorists from acquiring guns.
Democrats were angling for votes on the two gun-control measures, which they are presenting as amendments to a pending spending bill and demanding that it was the least the Senate could do to respond to the Orlando massacre that killed 49 over the weekend.
“We still have to get from here to there, but we did not have that commitment when we started,” Murphy said early Thursday, crediting his filibuster with pressuring leaders to commit to the votes but noting that there was “no guarantee that those amendments pass.”
A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said early Thursday morning that votes can be expected on amendments to the bill but that there is no formal agreement on what those amendments will be.
The Democrats’ bid for votes on their preferred measures intensified Wednesday as efforts to strike a gun-control compromise with Republicans frayed.
Early on Wednesday, Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) was in talks with a gun-control advocacy organization backed by former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg to craft a measure that Republicans could live with to prevent terrorists from obtaining firearms.
“This is not rocket science to figure this out,” Toomey said on the Senate floor Wednesday, adding that he had been speaking to “several” senators about a compromise.