Gun Bill Passes Senate Cloture, Despite the Fact that No Senator Has Actually Seen It


April 11, 2013 - 8:55 am
The gun bill passed cloture in the Senate with 68 votes today.

How does this happen, in what we are told is the world’s greatest deliberative body, when senators have not even seen the text of the legislation?

Speaking on the Senate floor minutes before the vote to move gun-control legislation forward, Mike Lee (R., Utah) urged postponing the cloture vote because none of his Senate colleagues has yet had a chance to read the entire bill. “We’re trying to prevent the ability of members to push through legislation before anyone has had the time to read and evaluate the language,” Lee said. “As of this morning, as of this very moment, not a single senator has been provided the legislative text of” the background-check provision proposed yesterday by senators Joe Manchin and Pat Toomey, which Lee said was the “centerpiece of this legislation.”

The cloture vote does not guarantee that the bill will pass, but it does now put it up to a simple majority vote in the Senate. Democrats have the majority in the Senate, and often vote with their party rather than vote with what their constituents want. They did that very thing when they passed ObamaCare, and had not read that bill before passing it either. Democrat Mary Landrieu, for instance, is from a red state, but she’ll do what the party tells her to do after extracting some meaningless concessions. The pressure will then mount on the House to kill it. Obama’s political army OFA is already emailing its minions to keep the pressure up on Congress to pass the bill — which no one has actually read.

But table that for a minute. President Obama promised that Americans would have 72 hours to read bills, which would be posted online, before they would be voted on or passed. Instead of that, we have an opaque government that continues voting on laws that even members of Congress have not read.

This is unacceptable in a republic. We should not be passing bills in order to find out what is in them.