Wednesday, April 10, 2013
The Senate will hold the first key procedural vote on a bill to curb gun violence Thursday as more than a half-dozen Republicans announced that they will join with Democrats to stop any attempt to block popular legislation drafted in response to a deadly shooting at a Connecticut elementary school.
The vote would formally start the the most wide-ranging and ambitious battle over gun control in 20 years.
In scheduling the vote, Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) said he doesn’t know if he has sufficient support to proceed to further debate on the bill. Regardless, “we’re going to vote on this anyway,” he said. “It may take a little time, but the American people deserve a vote.”
Senate procedural rules require Reid to secure at least 60 votes to move ahead with the legislation. Republican support to proceed doesn’t guarantee final passage of the bill — just that the Senate can actually begin formal debate. Getting at least 51 senators to support a final bill will prove difficult, as the politics of the issue are especially tricky for several Senate Democrats seeking reelection in 2014 in rural and Midwestern states.
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