WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid promised Tuesday to make sure the various gun control provisions come to a vote regardless of Republican opposition.
At least 14 Republicans have promised to filibuster gun control measures. Reid said he planned to file cloture Tuesday evening on the bill, and if he fails to get the 60 votes necessary to overcome the filibuster, he told reporters, “we’re gonna vote on these things anyway.”
Reid said he would place each individual measure directly on the calendar and bring each to a vote, something he says he has the authority to do under Senate Rule XIV “and other measures.”
“It’ll take a little bit of time, but as I’ve said for months now, the American people deserve a vote on background checks and federal trafficking and safety in schools and the size of clips, and yes, assault weapons. And of course, mental health,” he said.
Reid has blasted Republicans who have threatened to filibuster, calling them “illogical” and accusing them of “speaking out of both sides of their mouth” in a floor speech Tuesday morning.
President Barack Obama slammed Republicans in a speech Monday, saying they were subverting the process.
“They’re saying they won’t allow votes. … They’re saying your opinion doesn’t matter,” he said.
The filibuster effort was started by Sens. Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Mike Lee, and they were quickly joined by a number of their Republican colleagues. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he would support the filibuster effort.
Some members of Reid’s own party might keep him from reaching the necessary 60 vote threshold, such as Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor, who faces a tough re-election in 2014 in a red-leaning state.
But Reid was nonplussed by this fact.
“I don’t get all the Democrats all the time, and that’s for sure,” he said, adding that he was not pressuring any of the members of his caucus to vote one way or another on the bill.
“I haven’t leaned on any of my Democratic senators. I try never to do that,” he said.