With a split Congress arriving in January, the Democratic Party’s agenda is almost surely going to be grinding to a halt, and this has some on the left side of the aisle acting a bit frantically.
This includes President Joe Biden, who has been attempting to ride an emotional wave of trauma and tragedy into support for banning so-called “assault” weapons outright. Unfortunately, even the folks in his own party don’t see a path forward for this radical policy maneuver.
Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., threw cold water on President Biden’s hopes to pass an assault weapons ban during the lame duck Congress on Sunday.
Murphy argued that the votes for such a bill are “probably not” there for Democrats, despite the president’s push to enact a ban following a spate of shootings in recent weeks. The 50-50 split in Congress means Democrats would need 10 Republicans to defect and vote for the ban in order to overcome a filibuster.
“I’m glad that President Biden is gonna be pushing us to take a vote on an assault weapons ban,” he told CNN’s Dana Bash. “The House has already passed it. It’s sitting in front of the Senate. Does it have 60 votes in the Senate right now? Probably not, but let’s see if we can try to get that number is close to 60 as possible.”
Murphy pushed the possibility off for the foreseeable future.
“If we don’t have the votes, then we’ll talk to [Senate Majority Leader Chuck] Schumer and maybe come back next year, with maybe an additional senator, and see if we can do better,” he added.
A vast number of Americans on the right side of the aisle have suggested that such a ban would be in direct violation of their Second Amendment rights, making the issue not only a hotly debated one, but one in which it would be difficult to envision any sort of peaceful enforcement of such a ban.