Cruz's Grandstanding Obstructionism Threatens Gun Safety Laws
Politico is reporting that Senator Ted Cruz, among with Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) and Mike Lee (R-Utah), has delivered a formal letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's office today threatening to filibuster ANY gun safety legislation the Senate takes up in the coming weeks.
“We will oppose the motion to proceed to any legislation that will serve as a vehicle for any additional gun restrictions,”
Though they don’t use the word “filibuster” in the letter, the conservatives are leaving no doubt that they would filibuster on an initial procedural question — the motion to proceed.
Lee staged a test vote on the issue during consideration of the Senate budget last week. He tried to amend a point of order against gun control legislation to the budget but fell short. It needed a three-fifths supermajority and failed 50-49, needing 60 votes to pass. But the final tally emboldened Lee, Paul and Cruz because they were so close to a majority and a filibuster takes just 41 votes to sustain.
The fringe tea party senators are threatening to oppose even universal background checks - a common sense safety requirement that has overwhelming public support:
The nationwide polling, first released March 7, found that 88 percent of Americans believe those purchasing firearms at private sales and gun shows should undergo a background check. That level of support was only slightly lower at 85 percent among gun owners, according to the poll. Ten percent of voters, including 13 percent of gun owners, said they oppose universal background checks.
Sadly, Cruz's filibuster threat is not surprising. Given his recent record, Cruz appears intent on wasting his time in Washington pandering to tea party extremists with continued acts of grandstanding obstructionism.
UPDATE: Uh oh, it appears to be getting worse for Cruz. Reid's office has released a video of Cruz calling for strenthening background checks back in January.