Meanwhile in the Senate: Bipartisan Anti-Gun Bill Rushed to House
The largest gun control bill to pass the U.S. Senate this century was approved by the chamber and sent to the House only two days after it was introduced.
The "Bipartisan Safer Communities Act" was only debuted in the Senate late Tuesday, and its sweeping 80-page text was tacked on as an amendment to a bill, S.2938, that was originally to rename a post office in Florida. In the end, the measure was approved Thursday in a 65-33 roll call that saw 15 Republicans leap across the aisle to join all 50 of the chamber's Democrats.
Who voted for it?
Those GOP members signing on to the massive gun regulation and social spending bill – the initial Congressional Budget Office estimates pointed at $9.5 billion in increases for 2022 – including all 10 Republicans that helped craft the deal – Senators John Cornyn (Texas), Thom Tillis (N.C.), Roy Blunt (Mo.), Richard Burr (N.C.), Bill Cassidy (La.), Susan Collins (Maine), Lindsey Graham (S.C.), Rob Portman (Ohio), Mitt Romney (Utah), and Pat Toomey (Pa.) – and five others.
Those additional five consisted of Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), Shelley Capito (W.Va.), Joni Ernst (Iowa), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), and Todd Young (Ind.).
What does it contain?
As previously reported by Guns.com, the measure includes a de facto waiting period for gun sales to adults under age 21, makes more people eligible to lose their Second Amendment rights in more ways, and adds hundreds of millions in taxpayer dollars to cultivate a machine of easy-to-obtain "pre-crime" gun seizures with little due process protections.
One Republican who blasted the proposal and voted against it was U.S. Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, who spent 42 minutes on the floor pleading for all involved to be wary of the bill, not only on Second Amendment grounds but also over Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment concerns.
In the end, Lee described the legislation as a bad bill rushed through in the passion of the moment and with unforeseen consequences.
"I look forward to the day when the Senate will operate the way that it was designed to," he said. "The way it once did. The way that it, in fact, has operated in the not-too-distant past. We've got to demand it. As long as people continue to tolerate, continue to accept, and condone, and reward, and encourage this type of sham process, we'll be left with sub-par legislation, sloppily written."
Biden urging fast track by House
With the ink still wet on the bill– which has had no public debate – the White House celebrated its rapid passage by the Senate and called on the House to do the same.
"Tonight, after 28 years of inaction, bipartisan members of Congress came together to heed the call of families across the country and passed legislation to address the scourge of gun violence in our communities," said Biden, before painting the proposal as something of a school security bill although it calls for little in the way of increased physical security.
"This bipartisan legislation will help protect Americans. Kids in schools and communities will be safer because of it," he said. "The House of Representatives should promptly vote on this bipartisan bill and send it to my desk."