Reporting Tim Kephart
WASHINGTON (CBSMiami) – The U.S. Senate is preparing to start debate on a package of gun legislation that will include non-controversial items like universal background checks. But Senator Marco Rubio and three other Senators vowed Thursday to not even let the bill come up for a vote.
Senator Rubio joined Senators Rand Paul, Mike Lee, and Ted Cruz in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. The letter read in part:
“We, the undersigned, intend to oppose any legislation that would infringe on the American people’s constitutional right to bear arms, or on their ability to exercise this right without being subjected to government surveillance.”
While all four Senators refused to consider any limitations to the Second Amendment, the courts and Congress have repeatedly found many areas of other amendments to limit, including the First Amendment to the Constitution.
It’s unclear if the four Senators would mount a talking filibuster to make their point before eventually relenting, as Paul did earlier this year during the confirmation vote of Chuck Hagel.
Senator Reid’s office gave an angry response to the threatened filibuster.
“No matter your opinion on this issue, we should all be able to agree with President Obama when he said that the children and teachers of Newtown, along with all other Americans who have been victims of gun violence, at least deserve a vote,” Sen. Reid spokesman Adam Jentleson told talkingpointsmemo.com.
If the group mounted a talking filibuster like Paul did earlier in the year, it typically will last an indefinite amount of time before the Senate can return to business and move forward. If it’s a silent filibuster aimed at just stopping the bill, the legislation may never get a vote.