Chad’s Morning Brief: Support for Gun Bill Filibuster Grows, White House Not Happy, Obama’s Legacy and More
Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of April 9, 2013. Give me your feedback below and tune in to The Chad Hasty Show for these and many more topics from 8:30 to 11am.
1. Gun Legislation (link)
Senator John McCain and the White House agree on the GOP filibuster over the gun bill.
The White House on Monday lashed out at Republican lawmakers threatening to filibuster gun control legislation in the Senate, accusing them of trying to “hide” behind procedural maneuvers — as support for the filibuster continued to grow.
Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, announced Monday afternoon that a total of 13 senators had signed a letter to Majority Leader Harry Reid threatening to oppose “any legislation that would infringe on the American people’s constitutional right to bear arms.” Reid, at the same time, took the first steps to bring the gun control package to the floor for Senate debate, while saying he was “deeply troubled” by their warning.
Lee, along with Sens. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Ted Cruz, R-Texas, have led efforts to hold up the legislation. They would do so by trying to require a 60-vote threshold, which could kill the legislation.
Senators returned Monday from a two-week spring recess, and negotiators are hard at work trying to refine and prep a bill for consideration. While Lee, Paul, Cruz and others dug in on their objections, other moderates and conservatives have indicated a willingness to consider the package.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, using pointed language, accused the hold-outs of trying to “hide” behind the filibuster. At Monday’s press briefing, he invoked the families of the Newtown shooting victims to pressure them into allowing an up-or-down vote.
“Imagine what would they say to the families of the victims of Newtown about why a certain measure never came to a vote, because they filibustered. … That would certainly be inappropriate.”
Jay Carney and the Democrats are just absolutely disgusting. It is just wrong to use the Newtown families to score political points. The Senators who are looking to filibuster understand that they have to look past the Newtown families and instead look at what is better for this country as a whole. Once you get past the emotional debate, it’s clear that preserving our freedoms and liberties is what really matters at this time.
It’s too bad Senator McCain doesn’t understand that either.
2. Gambling Bill (link)
You won’t see lawmakers legalizing casino gambling in Texas in this session, but they may be laying the foundation for the future. On Monday, Texas Senator John Corona held a news conference to announce Senate Joint Resolution 64. According to the Texas Tribune, the resolution would let Texas voters decide.
At a news conference in the Capitol, Carona and other gaming supporters touted Senate Joint Resolution 64, which would let Texas voters decide on a proposed constitutional amendment that would allow casino gambling and provide support for other types of gambling in the state, like horse racing. Carona’s bill is set to go before the Senate Business and Commerce Committee, which he chairs, on Wednesday.
Efforts to allow casino gambling in Texas have failed multiple times before, and the trend isn’t expected to change this session. But Carona said gaming interests that have consistently disagreed in the past, including casino resort owners and racetrack industry leaders, have reached some important compromises. In his book, that’s a mark of success – even if his legislation doesn’t advance.
“You never really know when a major issue like this will find a break or an opportunity to be passed,” Carona said. “As more and more states pass legalization or expanded gaming, with Texas being one of only 10 states left that don’t, I think the opportunity will present itself if not during this session then perhaps next or [during] a special session on school finance, should there be one.”
I would be just fine with a vote on this, but it won’t happen anytime soon.
3. Obama’s Legacy (link)
According to The Hill, the next 10 weeks will be a make or break period for President Obama’s second term legacy.
He needs quick victories in the Senate on gun control and immigration if he is to build momentum for a fight in the Republican-controlled House — the chief obstacle to his agenda.
Obama and his allies are counting on the Senate to deliver strong bipartisan votes for gun violence and immigration bills to build pressure on Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to bring the legislation to the House floor for votes. The House is waiting for the Senate to act first before deciding its course of action.
The stakes are high for Obama; David Axelrod, his former chief political adviser, last week called immigration reform a “legacy item” for the president.
As the gun-control fight has gone on and Obama’s initial talk of wide-ranging reform has been trimmed and trimmed again, the president has faced renewed criticism over his ability — or inability — to shepherd meaningful legislation through Congress.
On immigration, there are doubts as to whether he seriously wants a deal. Many Republicans fear he would prefer to point a finger of blame at GOP lawmakers during the 2014 elections — and thus perhaps win the House back for Democrats — than actually achieve real progress with their help. They note that Obama last week was fundraising on the West Coast, speaking of the importance of returning California Democrat Nancy Pelosi to the Speakership.
As of right now, what do you think Obama’s legacy will be?
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