CJS filibuster ends with deal to vote on 2 gun amendments

Source: Emily Yehle, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, June 16, 2016

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) ended a 15-hour filibuster early this morning with an announcement that the Senate will vote on inserting gun control amendments in the Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations Subcommittee spending bill.

Murphy and fellow Senate Democrats had held the floor since 11:20 a.m., demanding a vote on two amendments: one to block suspected terrorists from buying guns and another implementing expanded background checks. The filibuster stalled and complicated the passage of the $56.3 billion spending package.

“I am proud to announce that after 14+ hours on the floor, we will have a vote on closing the terror gap & universal background checks,” Murphy tweeted.

But on the floor, Murphy made clear that there was “no guarantee” that the Democratic amendments would pass. Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s (D-Calif.) amendment would give the Justice Department authority to block suspected terrorists from buying guns, and the other amendment, from Murphy, would expand background checks to gun shows.

Though Republicans and Democrats attempted to come to a compromise over Feinstein’s amendment yesterday, no deal was struck by this morning.

The filibuster came days after the mass shooting in an Orlando, Fla., gay nightclub that ended with 49 dead and 53 injured. The FBI had twice investigated the shooter for potential terrorism ties.

Murphy and other Democrats also repeatedly referred to the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School that ended with 20 children dead in Newton, Conn.