Unless you’ve been living under a rock or securely in your “COVID cave,”, you’ve probably heard that the push for new federal gun control laws is well and truly on. Like other recent controversial measures, they’re currently sailing through the House of Representatives, but are going to run into one big roadblock that may keep them from becoming law: a filibuster in the Senate.

A Quick Review: How Bills Become Laws

For those who are unfamiliar with the legislative process, let’s set the Wayback Machine for the early 1970s and take a quick look at the way federal laws are made.

In the House, laws pass with a simple majority vote, but in the Senate, it’s more complicated. If a senator or group of senators want to kill a bill, they can speak against the bill endlessly (this is called a filibuster), and it takes 60 votes to end the filibuster and bring the bill up for a vote.

There are some exceptions: The recent pork-laden “Covid relief” bill passed the Senate on a slim 50-49 vote using a special set of rules for budget reconciliation that only requires a simple majority. Democrats have been threatening to kill the allegedly white supremacist filibuster entirely, but they’ve run into a roadblock.

Why They Need Joe Manchin

Even without the filibuster, Democrats have their hands full. With a 50-50 balance of power in the Senate, they need to keep every Dem in line to get something passed. Then the Vice President can act in her role as president of the Senate and cast the tie-breaking vote.

While Democrats display a remarkable degree of party discipline, they’re not a monolith. There are a few who are willing to buck the leadership on certain issues.

That’s where Joe Manchin comes in. As a Democrat from a very red state (Trump won West Virginia by 39 percentage points), Manchin has to consider the deplorables back home. At the same time, though, he’s got most of his own party and the media pushing him from the left. Now, he may be the only Democratic in the Senate who doesn’t want to change the rules and kill the filibuster (although Arizona’s Kristen Sinema has made noises, too).

Gun Control Bills In The House

Democrats know that almost no gun control bills will clear the Senate if they have to overcome a filibuster. There just aren’t enough votes to end debate. That hasn’t stopped them from working hard to get gun control through the House, though.

HR 8, the “universal background check” bill, would outlaw private gun sales that don’t go through an FFL. The bill’s authors claim it has a lot of exceptions for lending guns, selling or giving to family members, but that’s not the major problem with the bill. A federal registry would still be illegal if HR 8 passes, but it would create the perfect conditions for a future a registration bill to succeed.

But as with all gun control laws, criminals won’t comply with it, so the law won’t keep them from getting guns any more than the strict laws in Democrat-dominated states do now. The ludicrous claims of 90%+ support for the bill from polls are also dubious, with actual ballot initiatives for background checks in several states achieving less than 50% of the vote.

HR 1446 would close the alleged “Charleston loophole, giving FBI/NICS more time to conduct background checks. At present, if a dealer doesn’t get a denial back within 3 days, they can choose to legally sell the gun to a customer. This prevents the government from instituting a de facto gun ban by dragging their feet and never completing background checks. HR 1446 would allow them to delay a sale up to 10 days, which could allow them to create a national waiting period by claiming they can’t keep up with background check volume.

What Will Manchin Do?

These bills will easily pass the House (HR 8 passed earlier this morning). They will die in the Senate, though, unless the filibuster is ended. To do that, Democrats need Joe Manchin to vote their way. For that reason, groups like Gun Owners of America are calling for people to ask Sen. Manchin to keep his word and not vote to kill the filibuster.

The concern is that after the Sandy Hook shooting, Sen. Manchin, along with Sen. Pat Toomey, pushed for universal background checks, but that effort failed. Manchin’s so far staunch support for the filibuster is likely the only thing that would keep the House’s background check bills — not to mention a possible future assault weapons ban, magazine capacity limit and repeal of the PLCAA — from reaching President Bidenharris’s desk for signature. And that’s a thin reed on which to hang Americans’ gun rights.

54 COMMENTS

  1. Then the Vice President can act in her role as president of the Senate and cast the tie-breaking vote.

    Unless of course she’s busy taking a phone call with a foreign leader because Joe’s busy/lost/taking a nap.

    • The longer he’s still in office, the shorter she can be in office…

      • If Creepy Joe dropped dead before the 2 years and a day timeframe, Kameltoe can only be president for the rest of Creepy Joe’s term plus another term if she is reelected. But after the 2 years and a day Kameltoe can serve as president for the test of Joe’s term plus an additional two terms if she is reelected.

        What lengths will they go to keep Creepy Joe alive until just after midterms?

        • Come on, man. They know she couldn’t get elected dogcatcher (that’s no job for a b**ch); there were only a couple candidates that polled lower than she did.

          But yeah… with the Federal Government controlling all elections now, anything is possible.

      • Things are getting so ass-backward that I don’t even know where to start. Well, how about this: The same people who are calling for the defunding of the Police departments are the same people who want to restrict as much as possible your ability to defend yourself and your loved ones. These people are working to destabilize this country. I actually believe that they are getting their marching orders from the Chinese Communist Party. Open borders, a disarmed citizenry and crooked elections will ultimately destroy this country. It shouldn’t take a Rocket Scientist to see that.

  2. No, he isn’t.

    The UBC Bill that was passed today needs 60 votes. They can’t pass it via reconciliation.

    • They don’t have to do that.

      They can amend the rules of the Senate to suspend Rule XXII by using Rule XX. It has to be done for each bill they want to do it for and it requires a parliamentary procedure to do this but IF they do it they pass things with a simple majority.

      This is NOT reconciliation, which is another way to get things done with fewer votes but that’s for budget items.

      If they can hold the line for two votes on each issue, and use rule XX, they can suspend the 60 vote requirement.

      It works like this:

      While the Bill is under consideration the Dems raise a Point of Order “that the vote on cloture under Rule XXII for [item] is by majority vote”

      The President pro tempore overrules that Point of Order, citing the Rules of the Senate.

      The person who made the Point of Order then calls for an appeal [by vote] on the ruling from the President Pro tempore on the Point of Order, which only requires a majority. If 51 or more Senators vote “yea” then the President pro tempore’s ruling is voided and overruled. The legislation is now a simple up or down vote on the legislation under consideration.

      A vote is now held, 51+ vote for passage and it’s passed by the Senate.

      • “It works like this:”

        Yes. Parliamentary procedure has more twists and turns than the best roller coaster, and that’s before all the Senate rules are added on top.

        As for Manchin, he’s a D who uses R lingo for the folks back home. He may play coy for a bit, but only because he wants Upchuck to sweeten the deal to his liking.

        • Let’s face it. There are those who are willing to use every trick in the book to destabilize this country. I can see from the posts so far that everyone is just running around in circles chasing their own tails while Rome burns. We will be destroyed from within because too many of us are either too uninformed or just too blind to see what’s really going on. They are playing 3D Chess while everyone else is playing Checkers. Are they really that much smarter than we are? Good God, I pray not.

        • I can see from the posts so far that everyone is just running around in circles chasing their own tails while Rome burns

          Not all can be as ENLIGHTENED as you appear to think YOU are… Perhaps you can share your wisdom with us lesser mortals..

      • Strych –

        One problem with that idea –

        They just got finished pissing off the Parliamentarian, and she can throw a wrench in that if she wants.

        (The Parliamentarian being the Senate rule ‘referee’. She can shut that crap down real fast…)

        • No Geoff, she can’t.

          The Parliamentarian enforces the rules, she doesn’t make the rules. The Rules of the Senate are set by majority vote in the Senate.

          If they decide to change the rules then Ms. MacDonough can do nothing other than accept the new rules as is and enforce them.

          What I’m talking about doing has been done. Harry Reid did it. There is nothing “illegal” or “outside the rules” about this. It’s “the nuclear option”.

          Harry Reid did this, exactly this, in 2013. Ms. MacDonough has been the Parliamentarian since 2012. She hasn’t stopped this in the past because she can’t.

  3. Ok commie chick, a quick review right here on how a bill becomes law: legislators get paid a million or more dollars a year and they get it on a salary of under $200k/yr. Voila, a bill then becomes law.

  4. Possible correction. You say “delay a sale up to 10 days”
    Per the .gov website, H.R. 1446 says “minimum of 10 business days” and then, if no answer, submit form and wait 10 more days.
    Sounds like a national waiting period of “10 to infinity” to me.

  5. “These bills will easily pass the House (HR 8 passed earlier this morning). They will die in the Senate, though, unless the filibuster is ended.”

    Well, yes.. but actually no.

    FDR threatened SCOTUS back in the 30’s with court packing if they didn’t pass his initiatives, so SCOTUS got in line and rubber-stamped his unconstitutional reforms rather than be packed. Something similar could occur here. If Manchin agrees to side with Schumer and threaten McConnell with destruction of the filibuster or passing the House bill (possibly with the olive branch of passing it with amendments back to the House) I could see history repeating itself. Because while it would screw gun overs royally the RINO establishment doesn’t care, and it would allow them to preserve the filibuster and their own power.

    Never underestimate the ability of a RINO to betray his constituents. If there’s a way they’ll find it. McConnell, Romney, Graham, Burr etc are self-serving traitors of the worst stripe. With friends like that, who needs enemies.

    • The congresspeople gotta go back home eventually. What was it that maxine waters said about telling people they’re not welcome here?

    • Career Politicians only care about the next election. If you think that they give a rat’s ass about your freedoms or how much crap the liberals can enact into law, you are in for a rude awakening. Career Republicans know that an easy election victory is predicated on how angry the liberals can make their constituents. Career liberal Democrats know that campaigning like moderates will get them re-elected because the average Democratic voter is as dumb as a rock.

  6. I’d guess there’s definitely more than one ‘R’ senator who will vote yes in hopes of currying favor with the ‘D’ senators to get some pork tossed to the constituents of said ‘R’ senators. Doing so also provides political cover for Manchin, John Testor, and maybe a few other ‘D’s to vote no and still have this garbage pass.

  7. Right after my fellow Georgian Republicans screwed us by not showing up to vote in the run off elections I wrote Manchin and wished him well standing up to the left wing of his party and reminding him there is room for him in the Republican party and West Virginia would certainly reelect him if he jumped parties over gun control.

  8. Manchin voted for the 1.9trillion boondoggle bill. NO republitard’s did. He’s a Dim & nothing better. He gets freechit for his impoverished state…

    • My 70 year old good friend just frantically called me and asked about the evil dim bill’s. I told him I will not comply. Chit is about hit the fan big-time Ralph. And I live in ILLinoyed. He just moved to Indiana. What a contrast! What do you do in Conn?

      • I’m in MA, which is the leftist capital of the East Coast. I left CT many years ago, and I’ll leave MA soon enough. When the excrement strikes the rotational air circulation device, I intend to be well-armed and well prepared in FL.

        You be careful out there, amigo.

        • Sorry I misidentified yer state…oh I have an appt with the cataract surgeon. And I just got used to having glasses for one eye. Fun times with weapons😄

        • “When the excrement strikes the rotational air circulation device, I intend to be well-armed and well prepared in FL.”

          Dan has my contact info, I’d be honored to give you a proper welcome to the GunShine state.

          (I hope you consider residence in Polk County, home of sheriff Grady “Because they ran out of bullets” Judd, who hasn’t met an NFA device he doesn’t like… 🙂 )

        • If you move down here to the Sarasota area be prepared to wear a manatee costume if you want any help from our local rino. Vermin sent this today as part of his beating his chest look what I done did.
          >>>>>>>>>>>
          Our laws cannot be effective if there are gaping loopholes that allow criminals and deranged individuals to purchase firearms over the Internet or at gun shows without background checks.

          The bill I voted for today, H.R. 8, will close these loopholes.

          I was one of 8 Republicans to support the bill.
          <<<<<<<<<<<
          Good for you vermin, maybe those lions or manatees or horses who wont be dined on tonight will thank you.

          Damn shame the only people who run against you are doomed from the get go democrats. I'd love to see the look on yours and juniors faces when shitty car salesmen are run out of office.

    • Manchin only cares about Manchin. He’s just another career politician who gets supported by a media that is so biased that calling them journalists is just a cruel joke. Manchin knows which side the bread is buttered on and acts accordingly. This country has been sliding into the abyss for years now. Trump was starting to turn things around and all he got for his trouble was more and more enemies and a lot of backstabbing. He was stabbed in the back so many times it’s a miracle that got as many votes as he did. Biden didn’t win by getting more votes than Trump. He won by getting more phoney votes than Trump.

  9. BESIDES Joe Manchin, everyone needs to call, email, and write Senators Kyrsten Simena (D-AZ) and Angus King (I-Maine), both of whom have expressed interest in keeping the filibuster in the past. Probably wouldn’t hurt to contact any remaining ‘centrist’, ‘red state’ Democratic Senators (e.g., Jon Tester of Montana) while we’re at it. Some contact links below:

    https://www.sinema.senate.gov/contact

    https://twitter.com/kyrstensinema?lang=en

    https://www.facebook.com/SenatorSinema/

    https://www.king.senate.gov/contact

    https://twitter.com/angusformaine?lang=en

    https://www.facebook.com/angusformaine/

    https://www.tester.senate.gov/?p=email_senator

    https://twitter.com/jontester

    https://www.facebook.com/senatortester/

    • Yeah….that conviction to hold on to the filibuster will last about 5 seconds when schumer decides it is time to end the filibuster….

  10. They can’t until they have registration with periodic reporting. Never fear, that one’s simmerimg on the back burner, won’t be long.

  11. The Fate of Federal Gun Control Bills Depends on West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin

    Maybe… There are several RINO’s Romney, Murkowski, that could go either way, Romney has blown his shot at reelection but Murkowski is facing a serious primary challenge in 22… Collins is also questionable… Remember several RINO’s (including 3 from Fl) voted for the House bills…

    • We have put way too much faith in the Republicans. We know where the Democrats stand, but we just think we know where the Republicans stand. The Republicans are just loving our current situation. They are using the Democrat craziness to fundraise off of. If we want a Republican Party that stays loyal to us, we will have to clean house. Just electing more of the same kind of wishy-washy Republicans will not work because the past has shown us that. We need more Republicans with some balls who are more like Trump than McConnel.

  12. DON’T LET KAMAL FACE Harris VOTE (pun intended – she’s UGLY)! . . . We DON’T need this RADICAL legislation. Do NOT get rid of the FILIBUSTER. One Enlightened Patriot. Team Trump and His Allies 2020 – MAGA (WE’RE NOT going away!).

  13. Angus King (I-Maine)

    Angus King almost never veers from Dem party line.. He will vote FOR.. Tester is another waste of oxygen, he is straight Party line as well.. Sinema COULD turn on this one but I won’t hold my breath…

  14. Hey MaddMaxx, I’m not trying to denigrate anyone. I’m just trying to open some eyes as to what is really going on. We were played for suckers on January 6th. If that didn’t open up some eyes, you aren’t really paying attention. The stakes are too high for anyone to still be sleepwalking. Freedom is fragile. We have had freedom for so long that some of us just take it for granted. Keep your guard up buddy so as not to get sucker-punched again.

  15. Contact these peeps Please! We must stop this now..if gun control passes it will never be undone! Has it ever?

    West Virginia,Arizona,Montana has lots of gun voters.Tweet/Email/Call to Swing Vote semi-pro-gun Senate Dems like @JoeManchinWV of West Virginia, @kyrstensinema of Arizona, & @jontester of Montana.

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