Reporting Tim Kephart
Legislative Session Coverage
WASHINGTON (CBSMiami) – The long-awaited vote on a gun reform plan in the U.S. Senate has been scheduled for Wednesday and is expected to fail to garner the 60 votes needed to pass meaningful legislation in the Senate.
Florida Senator Marco Rubio will vote against any gun reform plans in the Senate while the senior Senator from Florida Bill Nelson was expected to vote in favor of the plan.
Senator Rubio and others opposed to the bill have argued the background check provision violates Constitutional rights. However, they have not offered legislation seeking to overturn all background checks if they do indeed violate Constitutional rights.
West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin said Wednesday morning that the votes simply weren’t there for the amendment he and Republican Senator Pat Toomey authored to expand background checks. The GOP opposition could be joined by a one or two Democrats from what are considered Republican states.
Still, the fact that the Senate couldn’t muster the 60 votes needed to pass a provision that has support from between 85 and 90 percent of the American public, including a majority support from gun owners in the U.S., doesn’t bode well for legislating in the next two years.
It also points to the problems in the Senate where any legislation now requires a 60-vote majority that comes from filibuster threats. So far this year, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has threatened filibuster reform multiple times, but no one believes the threats are anything more than bluster.