Washington, DC – In reaction to yesterday’s failed passage of the Manchin-Toomey Amendment despite garnering a majority of 54 votes, both President Obama and Senators weighed in on the issue of Senate rules reform to highlight the role of procedural manipulation that led to the defeat of the popular provision:
- President Obama, Washington Post: “A majority of senators voted yes to protecting more of our citizens with smarter background checks. But by this continuing distortion of Senate rules, a minority was able to block it from moving forward. I'm going to speak plainly and honestly about what's happened here, because the American people are trying to figure out, how can something have 90 percent support and yet not happen?”
- Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Huffington Post: "Everything needs 60 votes today. This is supposed to be a majority body."
- Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT), Yale Daily News: “This vote has turned me from a proponent [of abolishing the filibuster] into a revolutionary … There’s never been a bigger gap between the American public and a Senate vote.”
- Senator Angus King (D-ME), Press Herald: “Asked whether the votes made him question the filibuster reform negotiated earlier this year, King simply replied, "Yes."
- Senator Chris Coons (D-DE), Bill Press Show: “[Obstruction impactful] On judges, on filling judicial vacancies, on getting to important legislation, like the Manchin-Toomey universal background check bill, and quite possibly on important provisions within the immigration bill. If there’s going to be improvements for refining the immigration bill it’s going to happen in committee. Because on the floor, getting anything done takes 60 [votes], and we are regretting not making changes to the filibuster.”
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