SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Senator Dianne Feinstein plans to force a Senate vote on her assault weapons ban proposal despite its removal from a broader gun control package being pushed by fellow democrats.
“It will get a vote,” Feinstein told the San Francisco Chronicle.
The bill was presumed dead last week when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., concluded that including the prohibition in the gun bill would jeopardize the chances for passage of any firearms legislation at all, taking away votes that would be needed to overcome Republican attempts to block the Senate from even taking up the issue.
Feinstein told the Chronicle that the move took her by surprise, but said she didn’t plan on giving up, and wasn’t afraid to force a tough vote with long odds.
“Stand up and be counted,’’ she said to her fellow lawmakers. “That’s why we’re here.”
Last week Reid told reporters that “using the most optimistic numbers,” there were less than 40 votes for Feinstein’s ban. That is far less than the 60 votes needed to move contested legislation in the chamber, which has 53 Democrats plus two independents who usually back them.
The ban is the most controversial firearms restriction that President Barack Obama and other Democrats have pressed for since an assault-type weapon was used in the December massacre at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn. Rejection by Congress would be a major victory for the National Rifle Association and its supporters
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