Tuesday, July 26, 2005

The Gun Bill


(image via lindsayengraving)

As the United States Senate heads towards August recess at breakneck speed (The Corsair checks his Louis Vuitton Tambour Special Edition), Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist is, according to TheHill, "hoping to secure a major legislative triumph." We feel Darth Frister's pain. As Senator John McCain (And, to a lesser degree, far right Congressman Tom Tancredo, and the power-salivating Chuck Hegel) position themselves as infinitely more savory 2008 party picks, Fristy has to be wondering if Karl Rove's eye will, er, "rove."

Hence, "The Gun Bill," which, according to TheHill, is causing ruckus:

"Frist infuriated Democrats late last week when he announced that he planned to take up legislation granting gun manufacturers immunity from lawsuits at a time when the Senate was debating the defense authorization bill. The gun bill, which was defeated in the Senate in the last Congress, is a priority for the National Rifle Association (NRA).

�'They shouldn�t vote to go to guns if we�re not going to debate defense,' said Greg McCarthy, press secretary for Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.). McCarthy noted that the Senate had debated the defense bill for only four days, saying the big bill usually gets two weeks of floor time.'It�s basically filler,' one Democratic aide said, referring to the gun bill. 'He�s doing it instead of [legislation on] stem cells.' The aide added that if the Senate took up the gun bill Democrats would offer amendments dealing with gun shows and the assault-weapons ban � both of which passed the last time, causing the NRA to urge members to oppose the final bill.

"Attaching similar amendments this year will be more difficult in the wake of the GOP�s gain of four seats in the November elections. The aide said Democrats planned to try to provide a rhetorical contrast between the need for legislation on potentially lifesaving stem-cell research with a bill to help gun manufacturers.'There�s going to be a lot of talk about stem cells during the gun debate,' the aide said."

You've got your stem cells in my Beretta Xtrema2; you've got your Beretta Xtrema2 in my stem cells ...

"... Frist�s move forced the Democrats to decide whether to vote against a motion to cut off debate on the defense bill � a choice that could be somewhat politically difficult at a time of war.

"... The fate of the defense bill has been complicated, meanwhile, by amendments offered by Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) dealing with military prisoner abuse and interrogation techniques. Vice President Cheney was reported to be lobbying against the amendments, but each senator offered amendments anyway."

And that's not even mentioning the Akaka Bill. The full story.

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