Rand Paul Plans Another Filibuster, Silent This Time, Against Gun Control Legislation

He's not ready to stand for 13 hours again, yet, but Sen. Rand Paul does intend a silent procedural filibuster against new Senate gun control legislation, along with Texas' Ted Cruz and Utah's Mike Lee.

Filibuster ThisPhoto credit: JASON ANFINSEN / Foter.com / CC BY-SA

As Politico reports:

Sens. Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and Mike Lee are threatening to filibuster gun-control legislation, according to a letter they plan to hand-deliver to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s office on Tuesday.

“We will oppose the motion to proceed to any legislation that will serve as a vehicle for any additional gun restrictions,” the three conservatives wrote in a copy of the signed letter obtained by POLITICO....

Conservatives are concerned that once that bill reaches the floor, amendments could stiffen restrictions on gun control.

Moreover, they understand that Reid intends to allow liberal amendments that would limit clip capacity and ban certain assault weapons to be offered — even though they would be defeated — to give Democrats a chance to vote on them. For moderate Democrats in competitive states, that amounts to an opportunity to vote no and show allegiance to gun rights.

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.

As Huffington Post explains, this would be the less-dramatic form of filibuster, looking:

much different than Paul's channeling of "Mr. Smith Goes To Washington." In fact, it won't look anything at all like his prior effort. Under Senate rules, if Reid can't get broad bipartisan support to move to debate a bill, he needs unanimous consent. Paul and Cruz are threatening to withhold that consent, which launches a silent filibuster.

Backers of filibuster reform have argued previously that, at a minimum, Reid should eliminate the ability to filibuster a motion to proceed. Reid declined the opportunity, but has since expressed frustration that gridlock continues.

The "motion to proceed to consider."

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Reid declined the opportunity, but has since expressed frustration that gridlock continues.

    That expression will be quite different when Democrats lose the Senate.

  • Counterfly||

    No one cares what the expression will be in 2406.

  • John||

    You mean 2014 when the Dems have a ton of Senators up for re-election in states Obama never won?

  • Counterfly||

    I want you to be right, but you're not.

  • Counterfly||

    And for the record, I don't want you to be right to get Republicans in there, but I want you to be right because it would slightly show that legislators can't shit on their electorate without consequences.

    Which is why you're wrong.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Counterfly,

    No one cares what the expression will be in 2406.

    That's when the Borg attack Alpha sector, isn't it?

  • OldMexican||

    My apologies - that would have to be Alpha quadrant.

  • wareagle||

    why is Harry frustrated? He's not exactly an anti-gun crusader.

  • Loki||

    When the Dems control the Senate the filibuster = gridlock, threat to democracy, impediment to progress. When the Reps control the Senate the filibuster = vital tool to protect the interests of the minority from the overreach of the majority. Or something like that.

  • Capt Ace Rimmer||

    That's what I'm talking about. Shut that motherfucker down.

  • sloopyinca||

    Dammit, Rand. Do it the old-fashioned way. This makes you look like an obstructionist, while the other way made you look like you were willing to literally stand up for what you believed.

    This thing is dead in the House anyway, so an old-fashioned filibuster is better because when it ends, these assholes are going to be on record not only for the vote on the bill, but for the vote on Feinstein's idiotic "assault" weapon amendment.

  • Counterfly||

    He doesn't want to seem like a one trick pony. Getting all histrionic and longwinded at every single tiny encroachment of liberty.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Counterfly,

    Getting all histrionic and longwinded at every single tiny encroachment of liberty.

    You mean you would not get all histrionic and lonwinged at every tiny encroachment of your liberty?

    I shall squat at your house!

  • Counterfly||


    1. I dare you. I live in Liberia and don't have A/C in my "house".

    2. I was being...not sarcastic...but something. Sardonic? Is that a thing?

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Counterfly,

    1. I dare you. I live in Liberia and don't have A/C in my "house".

    So that would make ANY encroachment on YOUR liberty that more obvious, wouldn't it? Yet are you still saying you would not get all histrionic and longwinged about it?

    And I know what you're trying to say: How dare any of us here in the US get all worked up at the slightest encroachment of our liberties, when you have nothing. I argue that the fact you have nothing is irrelevant and entirely your own fucking fault; not mine, not Rand's and not Ted's. So fuck you.

  • Zeb||

    Relax, man. I'm pretty sure that's not what he is trying to say.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Zeb,

    No, I believe that is exactly what he's trying to say, otherwise he would not bring up the fact he lives inside an outhouse.

  • Counterfly||

    It's not an outhouse! Just most other Americans here have A/C, and are uncomfortable without it. Even the Peace Corps kids when they're not up-river.

    100F + 100% humidity will knock you on your ass until you are acclimated. Not as bad as the 145F dry heat in Iraq, but worse than anywhere I've been besides that. And I've been to a lot of shitholes.

  • Counterfly||

    Seriuosly OM, listen to Zeb. I was just being flippant, I'm GLAD Rand is doing this.

    Also, don't let the fact that I don't have A/C here lead anyone to think I have nothing. I live like a king. Well, a Liberian king. BUT STILL A KING!

    I just choose not to have A/C, so that when I'm out working (actual work, not at my work desk like now), I'm more used to it.

  • $park¥||

    I was just being flippant, I'm GLAD Rand is doing this.

    You can't piss on the Golden Child and expect to get away with it. Even if it was just jokingly.

  • Zeb||

    You mean you would not get all histrionic and lonwinged at every tiny encroachment of your liberty?

    If I did that, I wouldn't have time for anything else.

  • Counterfly||

    Not even Facebook?

  • mnarayan||

    This seems to be a procedural move that is fairly different from a filibuster; while I can quite imagine it being covered as obstructionist, at first glance that does not seem to be true.

  • Loki||

    I can quite imagine it being covered as obstructionist

    Which is exactly how the media proggie whores will spin it.

    "Obstrukshunist Rethuglican Rand Paul Blocks Sinsable, Common Senz Gun Reformz because he HATESEZ TEH CHILDRUN AND WANTS THEM TO DIE. Also Fucks Sheep"

  • John Galt||

    Why is the accompanying image a drawing of Gumby's head and a vulva?

  • Loki||

    Obviously Harry Reid = Gumby, since he's saying "filibuster this" and he's about a stupid and annoying as Gumby, and Rand Paul is a giant vulva since according to Ann Coulter libertarians are pussies. Duh.

  • mr lizard||

    The more liberal hate he can get the better primary candidate he will be. Fuck ya

  • Atanarjuat||

    Not only that, but Americans in general liked his last filibuster, and since we love our guns, this one will make him more popular, too.

  • sloopyinca||

    But it won't, and that was my point above. A procedural filibuster smacks of obstructionism to the media talking heads. And let's face it: they're the ones that will paint this picture.

    He needed to do the same thing again, and even elicit some other Senators to do the heavy lifting with him. Hell, put Team Blue Senators from gun-loving states on the spot and flat-out ask their opinion on the matter.

    I'll repeat this one more time for effect: he needed to do a traditional filibuster followed by letting Team Blue get a vote on this and the Feinstein amendment. It would not only show that he's sticking to his principles, but it gets everybody on record. And those Team Blue Senators from reddish states do not want to be on record on this. He's doing them a fucking favor.

  • mr lizard||

    Well probably also has zero faith in the house of folding cards repubs. I can see Boehner marking out on universal background checks.

  • Calion||

    "Conservatives are concerned that once that bill reaches the floor, amendments could stiffen restrictions on gun control."

    And why would that be a problem? I'm all for stiffening restrictions on gun control...

  • R C Dean||

    What's the headcount on the bill for background checks? Some Dems vote no, and some Repubs (yeah, I'm looking at you, McCain) vote yes? Could it get to 60 on a procedural vote and beat the filibuster?

  • CE||

    It's the United States Senate, not McDonald's. No one is in a hurry for them to proceed. If one US Senator objects, don't proceed. We don't need any more laws, and especially not any more hastily considered ones.

  • prolefeed||

    It's not a "less-dramatic form of filibuster". It's a notice that one or more Senators is prepared to filibuster if the majority party can't muster up 60 votes to end debate.

  • prolefeed||

    The threat of a filibuster is not the filibuster itself.

  • Tamfang||

    "...liberal amendments that would limit..."

    Is anyone else sick of hearing restrictions described as "liberal"? Oxymoron city.


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