It’s still unclear after U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy’s nearly 15-hour filibuster what version of the two amendments Republicans in the U.S. Senate will raise, but that didn’t matter too much Thursday morning.
Murphy stood his ground, not leaving the U.S. Senate floor for 14 hours and 50 minutes in an effort to get the Republican-controlled U.S. Senate to raise amendments to close the terror gap and expand background checks for firearm purchases.
Murphy and his colleagues in the Senate who helped him wage the filibuster held an hour-long news conference Thursday morning with family members of victims from the South Carolina and San Bernadino, Calif. shootings to discuss their reasons for the filibuster.
“I’m glad we’re on a path forward to get votes on these two amendments,” Murphy said.
He said at the beginning of the week they didn’t know whether they would have any debate or any vote on these issues.
“Now we believe we’re on a path to get folks on the record and that’s a start,” Murphy said Thursday.
A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told the Washington Post early Thursday morning that votes can be expected on amendments to the bill but that there is no formal agreement on what those amendments will be.
Efforts to come up with a compromise on the amendments seemed to fall short Wednesday.
However, U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said he’s encouraged by the fact that for the first time Republicans are “actually saying we ought to do something.”
He said the filibuster led by Murphy will force Republicans to answer questions about where they stand on the issue.
“Whether they have the courage to buck the NRA and actually do something, instead of hiding behind these wolf in sheep’s clothing proposals — we’ll see,” Schumer said. “But at least they’re feeling the heat and the heat is on them.”
An indication that the tide seems to be shifting, as least as far as the terror gap amendment is concerned, is presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s tweet Wednesday in which said he would be meeting with the NRA to express his view that those on a terrorist watch list should not be allowed to purchase weapons.