I have said time and time again I want people to have the ability to vote on assault weapons, mental health, safety in schools, federal trafficking, clips — everything. But I cannot do that until I get a bill on the floor. Right now her amendment, using the most optimistic numbers, has less than 40 votes. That’s not 60.Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid • Explaining why Senate Democrats are putting the kibosh on legislation to ban so-designated “assault weapons” — at least for now. Procedurally, this is a very old story — despite maintaining a 53-seat majority in the U.S. Senate, Democrats are unable to bring legislation to the floor without either passing a 60-vote threshold, removing the now nearly-automatic threat of Republican filibuster. Consequently, Reid’s plan is to remove the assault weapons ban from a larger gun control bill, and add it back in as an amendment after it actually reaches the floor — that is, if the support even exists at that time to pass it. If Reid’s math is correct, they’d still need another ten votes to secure a majority (assuming the obvious Joe Biden tiebreaker), ostensibly culled from fellow Democrats still dubious of such a ban. source
We do not have, at 12 o’clock today, a Secretary of Defense.Harry Reid, revealing today that Senate Republicans have rounded up the 41 votes necessary to block the nomination of Chuck Hagel to the Defense Department. Today is outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s last day on the job; if Republicans make good on their threats during Hagel’s confirmation vote tomorrow—and this is certainly a big “if”—it will be the first time a nominee for Secretary of Defense has been filibustered, and the country will be left without a Defense Secretary. A couple of Republican senators have threatened to block Hagel’s nomination unless the Obama Administration releases more information about the attack last year on the American consulate in Benghazi, an incident with which Hagel was wholly uninvolved. A Hagel spokesman said today that despite the threats of his former colleagues, the Nebraska Republican is not withdrawing his nomination. source
I’m not going to be coy. It’s not something I’ve ever been good at. I’ve told the governor that I would now like frankly to do that because I would like to be a part of that. It’s only a three-month period; I wouldn’t want to do anything more. I don’t want to run again…Coach, put me in!Barney Frank isn’t opposed to becoming Massachusetts’ temporary senator after John Kerry leaves his post, while they start looking for the next guy. Please, let this happen!