The tough gun-control bill that President Barack Obama wants now has little, if any, chance of passing this Congress – it’s struggling in the Senate and facing outright rejection in the House.
Vice President Joe Biden worked the phones Monday to try to salvage a bipartisan bill in the Senate but has come up short. Personal appeals from parents of Newtown victims and former Rep. Gabby Giffords haven’t worked either.
And even if Senate negotiators get to 60 votes, the House is certain to rewrite the bill – or discard it altogether.
At this point the votes aren't there. The reason why the votes aren't there is mainly Republicans, but red state Democrats too.
Reid is likely to lose three of his 55 Senate Democrats — Mark Begich of Alaska, Mark Pryor of Arkansas and Max Baucus of Montana. All three said on Monday that they were still reviewing the proposal and would not commit to backing it.
Other members of Obama’s party still undecided include freshmen Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Donnelly of Indiana. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, who is up for reelection in 2014, has also not said whether she would back the bill.
That would mean that the bill would fall far short of the filibuster total. Yes, Democrats are chickening out at this point, but let's not forget it's Republicans who are choosing to block the bill, as Greg Sargent points out.
Because right now, the current situation really appears to be that the fate of the proposal rests in the hands of red state Dems. It would be one thing if it were earning enough GOP support to pass without most of them; in that case, Harry Reid might tacitly indicate that he were okay with a No vote. But right now, the only Republicans supporting the bill are Toomey, John McCain, Susan Collins, and Mark Kirk. The only two Republicans who still appear gettable are Dean Heller and Kelly Ayotte. Even with a total of six Republicans, you’d still need virtually all the red state Dems to break the GOP filibuster.
Keep that in mind as we continue. Republicans are the ones killing this bill, as I've been saying for months, and they believe there will be no price to pay.