Gun Control Bill Clears First Hurdle: What’s Next?
(WASHINGTON) — Democrats and a smaller coalition of Republicans were able to break the GOP filibuster on Thursday, allowing for the gun bill to move forward in the Senate.
But the road ahead is bumpy and not defined.
Aides to the Republican filibuster signers tell ABC News they are potentially willing to try to filibuster every amendment they believe violates the Second Amendment in any way.
This means that for the foreseeable future — next week and perhaps even the week after — there are going to be numerous votes on various gun amendments in the Senate. At each of those votes, Republicans will make a judgment call to try to block each specific amendment or not .
Republicans could do this by objecting to the “unanimous consent” agreements typically used to set up amendment votes in a timely manner. If Democrats are unable to secure that “unanimous consent” they will have to file cloture on each individual amendment — which means they would need 60 votes to move ahead.
This process could be very time consuming for the Senate, potentially taking up to four days — per amendment — to vote, out of a slew of many possible amendments.
Aides on both side of the aisle caution that the situation is still fluid and it is touch and go for awhile.
If the bill makes it out of the Senate, it faces another very steep hill to climb in the House of Representatives.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) told ABC News on Thursday that he would send any Senate bill for more hearings in the House Judiciary Committee, which could take the process back to square one.
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