For some reason, Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) appears to have potentially thought Twitter wanted to hear her thoughts after the school shooting this week in Texas where at least 19 children and 2 adults were killed. “You cannot legislate away evil,” Boebert proclaimed, implicitly pushing back on attempts to enact gun safety measures. In response, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) said Boebert should “just quit.”
“Why even be in Congress if you don’t believe in doing your job?” Ocasio-Cortez asked in reply to that post from Boebert. “Just quit and let someone who actually gives a damn do it instead of acting like a useless piece of furniture when babies are shot with AR15s that we let teen boys impulse buy before they can legally have a beer.” Boebert’s so-called logic, of course, is nonsense. What about the all sorts of other terrible acts that are currently covered by legislation? What about the legal provisions making it more difficult to commit those actions? Why can’t the same logic be applied to gun control? And — like the question Ocasio-Cortez raised — why on earth is Boebert even in Congress if not to legislate? Being a member of Congress is not supposed to be about attention.
Federal gun safety measures are another item that can — for now — be added to the list of things stifled by the insistence of Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) on sticking to the Senate’s filibuster rules. Appropriately comprehensive pushes for new gun safety measures would no doubt be unlikely to find the support of the number of Republicans needed to overcome those rules, which demand the agreement of at least 60 Senators in the 100-member chamber before proceeding with most initiatives. The slim Democratic majority — in place because of Vice President Kamala Harris’s tie-breaking role — could update the filibuster rules to make passing gun safety measures an easier prospect, but Sinema and Manchin refuse to relent. Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) expressed support to reporter Jake Sherman for background check measures to clamp down on the potential for gun violence — but that’s just one Republican. Ten are needed to hit 60.
ROMNEY tells me he’s for background checks and thinks it’s an appropriate federal response, but would like red-flag laws administered at a state level.
— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) May 25, 2022
As reporter Manu Raju explained, Manchin pushed for the Senate “to pass bipartisan bills that could get 70 votes on gun reforms — such as bolstering red flag laws or a narrower background checks bill — even as that has proven elusive” — because Manchin’s pushes for bipartisanship worked out so well in the past. (That’s sarcastic. Broadly speaking, they didn’t.) Dumping the filibuster, Manchin claimed, would mean “throwing out the one tool that we have that gets us, that keeps us working — at least talking together. Without that we have nothing. You get no checks and balance.” (That’s Raju’s transcription of Manchin.) What’s more important, Joe? Continuing to “talk” with Republican colleagues or putting common-sense measures in place to hopefully save lives — measures there’s no guarantee the GOP would even be able to undo in the future? (Republicans failed, for instance, to repeal the Affordable Care Act despite desperately trying to do so.)
On getting rid of the filibuster, Manchin said it amounts to “throwing out the one tool that we have that gets us, that keeps us working — at least talking together. Without that we have nothing. You get no checks and balance.”
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) May 25, 2022