After Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) joined those speaking out following the school shooting this week in Texas where at least 19 children and 2 adults were killed and some others were wounded, Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) shamed her for standing in the way of action in the Senate on common-sense gun control via her support for the chamber’s filibuster rules.
“Please just stop.. unless you are willing to break the filibuster to actually pass sensible gun control measures you might as well just say “thoughts and prayers,”” Gallego said on Tuesday in response to a post from Sinema. In the original post, the Arizona Senator — who Gallego might run against in the next Democratic primary for her seat — said: “We are horrified and heartbroken by the senseless tragedy unfolding at Robb Elementary School in Texas and grateful to the first responders for acting swiftly. No families should ever have to fear violence in their children’s schools.”
Sinema was one of just two Senate Democrats to vote against amending the filibuster rules to allow for the passage of federal protections for voting rights. After the emergence of a draft majority opinion from the U.S. Supreme Court that would overturn Roe v. Wade, which established the nationwide right to an abortion, Sinema promptly once again spoke in support of the chamber’s filibuster rules, characterizing them as a pro-abortion rights tool because of the technical ability for the provisions to stop right-wing attempts to curtail abortion access. “Protections in the Senate safeguarding against the erosion of women’s access to health care have been used half-a-dozen times in the past ten years, and are more important now than ever,” she said.
Horrible news from Uvalde, Texas. Our deepest sympathy is with the victims and their families. As a nation that goes through the pain of losing innocent young lives, Ukraine shares the pain of our U.S. friends. We stand in solidarity with you at this difficult time, @SecBlinken.
— Dmytro Kuleba (@DmytroKuleba) May 25, 2022
What about the people affected right now — while Democrats have a simple majority in the Senate — by the destructive moves widely undertaken by Republican officials? These circumstances are unfolding before Republicans could even have the chance to theoretically use the absence of filibuster rules to get perceptibly terrible things done and undo potential Democratic progress — and they’ve already shown that even when they have control, Republicans can’t automatically deliver on years-old party promises. Republicans failed to overturn the Affordable Care Act towards the beginning of the Trump administration. There’s no guarantee as to what they’d actually do — they’re not exactly known for simple, straightforward competence!
Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-TX), who represents Uvalde, tells @CBSMornings "I'm happy to debate policy, but not today" .. when asked about his prior votes on gun control policy
— Scott MacFarlane (@MacFarlaneNews) May 25, 2022
In the meantime, Republicans have familiarly terrible ideas in the aftermath of the Texas school shooting. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) pushed for more armed personnel at schools — although the Texas shooter was reportedly fired upon by cops before entering the school building, so having additional guns around already failed. “Two Uvalde police officers and a school resource officer fired at the shooter, but it did not stop him from entering the building,” as The Washington Post reported. After the shooting, Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-Texas), who represents Uvalde, the Texas city where the massacre took place, said: “I’m happy to debate policy another time. Today, we should be united. We should talk about the survivors as well as the victims.” It’s policy that might keep something like this tragedy from taking place again.
Deeply saddened by the news of the murder of innocent children in Texas. Sincere condolences to the families of the victims, the people of the US and @POTUS over this tragedy. The people of Ukraine share the pain of the relatives and friends of the victims and all Americans.
— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) May 25, 2022