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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell outfoxed his colleague, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, on her proposed gun control measure to ban people on terrorist watch lists from purchasing guns.
He promised Collins her measure would be brought up for a vote but what he didn’t tell her was how that vote would look.
In an effort to provide cover for Republicans who didn’t want to oppose the National Rifle Association nor popular opinion, McConnell scheduled a vote to discard Collins measure, the Hill reported.
According to The Hill:
Instead of setting up a vote to add the Collins legislation to the pending appropriations bill on the Senate floor, McConnell scheduled a vote to discard it.
The Collins bill survived that test in a 46-52 vote, but it fell far short of winning 60 votes, the threshold necessary to overcome procedural hurdles.
The result allows Republicans to argue that no other action is necessary.
“It didn’t have sixty votes. That’s what a motion to table does. It demonstrates where the votes are,” McConnell spokesman Don Stewart said.
“The scenario that Sen. McConnell set up was textbook McConnell,” former Senate Republican aide Brian Darling told the Hill.
Those who supported the bill said it could have passed if McConnell brought it up for a positive vote rather than a negative one.
“If you put this one up for cloture now, it’s got a good shot,” Republican Sen. Jeff Blake told the Hill.
McConnell did introduce a competing bill that was not opposed by the NRA.
“There were two competing amendments,” Flake said. “If there’s only ours left, then I suspect a number of those who voted for the other one will come over.”
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