McCain Challenges Gun Bill Blockers To Allow Debate

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[h/t Heather at VideoCafe]

On Face the Nation today, John McCain expressed frustration with Rand Paul and his gang of libertarian obstructionists who threaten to block any gun measure from coming to the floor for debate.

The Hill:

“I don’t understand it,” said McCain on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “The purpose of the United States Senate is to debate and to vote and to let the people know where we stand.”

“What are we afraid of? Why would we not want… if this issue is as important as all of us think it is, why not take it to one of the world’s greatest deliberative bodies – that’s one of the greatest exaggerations in history by the way – but you know why not take it up, an amendment and debate. The American people will profit from it,” said the Arizona senator.

“I don’t understand why United States senators want to block debate when the leaders said we could have amendments,” McCain added.

A number of GOP lawmakers, including Sens. Rand Paul (Ky.), Mike Lee (Utah), Marco Rubio (Fla.), and Ted Cruz (Texas) wrote to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) vowing that they would “oppose the motion to proceed to any legislation that will serve as a vehicle for any additional gun restrictions.”

Interesting that it's the young wingnut guns opposing the "elder statesmen" of the Republican party. There is a definite civil war brewing just under the surface there. But I digress.

When 90 percent of Americans support background checks, it should be a slam dunk. As the president noted last week, 90 percent of Americans can't agree on what to have for breakfast, much less gun safety laws. Yet there we are, with a vast majority of the country in support of such a thing. I'll take the question one step beyond McCain and ask why they aren't rushing to get this done if they expect to be re-elected again?

Yes, there should be a debate. But for me, it just makes me furious that we're settling for a debate on background checks and little more. Background checks go without saying. Why can't we have a debate on clip size and assault-style weapons? Why can't we get these wingnuts on the record so they have to own their words after an assault weapon offs a lot of people in one place yet again, simply because they lacked the integrity or the guts to do the right thing? Instead we get this wimpy, simpy "Oh, won't it be grand if we get background checks!" nonsense.

Appearing with McCain, Sen. Charles Schumer expressed optimism that if the bill proceeded to the floor, a measure on background checks could pass.

“If we go to the floor, I’m still hopeful that what I call the ‘sweet spot’ background checks can succeed. We are working hard there. Sen. [Joe] Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Sen. [Mark] Kirk [R-Ill.] have a few ideas that could modify the proposal.”

McCain said he would welcome a debate on background checks on the Senate floor.

“Everybody wants the same goal to keep the guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally disabled. Background checks are being conducted. Are they sufficient, are there ways to improve those? Then I think that’s something that the American people and certainly Congress could be helped by if we have a vigorous debate and discussion,” said McCain.

Message to Americans: If we are so lucky as to get these young bucks to deign to debate this measure, won't it be grand to get a watered-down toothless background check measure that probably won't even come up in the House? Hey, at least we can say we passed...something.

Doesn't it seem like we're all being asked to simply 'bite the bullet'?

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