Friday, September 18, 2009

Charles Babington of the Associated Press reported yesterday about the Senate Democratic leadership's latest sleazy maneuver to pass the anti-gun health care bill.  And this is contemptible even by their admittedly low standards:

White House and Democratic officials are quietly talking with key senators, hoping to craft a thread-the-needle strategy on health care with little or no help from Republicans.  The officials are asking a handful of moderate Democrats to do something that might be hard to explain to voters:  Cast a Senate vote that could be interpreted as favoring a bill that the lawmakers ultimately plan to oppose on final passage.

In other words, they are trying to convince the swing votes -- Ben Nelson of Nebraska, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor of Arkansas, perhaps Joe Lieberman of Connecticut -- to “throw” their vote on a pivotal filibuster vote.  Bottom line:  they are being asked to side with the ObamaCare supporters when it comes to the all important “cloture” vote -- which is the real hurdle that ObamaCare supporters must overcome if they are to pass the bill in the Senate.

The cloture vote determines whether a filibuster will continue or not, and it requires the support of 60 Senators.  Siding with the ObamaCare supporters on the cloture vote would allow the “swing voters” to oppose the bill on final passage, where only 50 votes (plus the Vice-President) are needed.

Under this scenario, the moderate Democrats would then go back to their constituents and claim to have opposed the anti-gun health care bill because they voted against it on “final passage.” But the critical vote which will have determined the real outcome of ObamaCare will have been the cloture vote.  They will claim that the cloture vote was only a “procedural vote.”

It is hard to imagine that anyone with an IQ over 50 would think anyone would swallow this scumbag trick.

But, just to make sure, we are asking our members to let senators know what the response will be for any senator who casts a deciding vote to pass the anti-gun health care bill on cloture, and then tries to trick them.

ACTION: Please write your Senators.  Let them know that the 60-vote-margin votes on “cloture” are the important health care votes.  No one will be fooled by a senator who votes wrong on these and then casts a meaningless vote against final passage. 

You can use the Gun Owners Legislative Action Center to send your legislators the pre-written e-mail message below.

----- Pre-written letter -----

Dear Senator:

Charles Babington of the Associated Press reported on September 16 about the Senate Democratic leadership’s latest sleazy maneuver to pass the anti-gun health care bill.

They are reportedly trying to convince the “swing” senators to “throw” the pivotal 60-vote cloture vote on shutting down debate on the anti-gun bill. The “swings” would then be allowed to vote against the bill on final passage, where only 50 votes (plus the Vice-President) are needed.

Under this scenario, the senators would then go back to their constituents and claim to have opposed the anti-gun health care bill because they voted against it on “final passage.” The critical outcome-determinative votes on “cloture” and on “waiving the budget act” -- which will determine whether the bill passes or fails -- would only have been “procedural votes,” they would argue.

It is hard to imagine that anyone with an IQ over 50 would think anyone would swallow this dirty trick.

But, just to make sure, we want to let you know that no one will be fooled if a senator casts a deciding vote to pass the anti-gun health care bill on cloture or waiving the budget act, and then tries to trick us with a meaningless vote against final passage.

To reiterate: The important votes are the 60-vote-margin votes on “cloture” and on “waiving the budget act.” No one will be fooled by a senator who votes wrong on these and then casts a meaningless vote against final passage.

Gun Owners of America will continue to inform me as to what is happening on this important issue.

Sincerely,




Amtrak Amendment Overwhelmingly Passes in the Senate

An amendment to end the complete gun prohibition on Amtrak trains passed overwhelmingly Wednesday in the U.S. Senate by a vote of 68-30.

Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) offered the amendment to allow law-abiding gun owners to safely and legally transport firearms when they travel on Amtrak. 

Current Amtrak regulations prohibit firearms in both checked and carry-on baggage. But Sen. Wicker's amendment prohibits any federal taxpayer funding of Amtrak if it does not allow gun owners to transport firearms on trains in a manner similar to that of airlines. Under this amendment, travelers would be able to transport a firearm from Amtrak stations that accept checked baggage as long as the firearm is declared and carried in a hard-sided, locked container.

The amendment was attached to the 2010 Transportation-Housing & Urban Development Appropriations bill and must now be reconciled with the House-passed bill, which does not contain the Wicker amendment.