Dems end Senate takeover after nearly 15 hours

Embed from Getty Images

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Connecticut) ended his gun control filibuster just shy of 15 hours after Democrats took control of the Senate floor to protest Congress’ inaction on gun control.

“I’ve been so angry that this Congress has mustered absolutely no response to mass shooting after mass shooting,” Murphy said as he ended his filibuster. “This exercise over the course of the last 14 hour has been in many ways a plea for this body to come together to find answers.”

The Connecticut Democrat took control of the Senate floor around 11:20 a.m., promising to “to stand on this floor and talk … for, frankly, as long as I can.”

Murphy said he wanted a deal on a bill strengthening background checks and blocking suspected terrorists from buying guns or explosives. While there is no guarantee that Murphy’s filibuster pushed the Senate towards passing gun control measures, he said there is an “understanding” to allow for votes on two Democratic proposals.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said he’s trying to work with Democrats to see if the two parties could find an agreement on blocking suspected terrorists from buying guns. However, Cornyn said he is skeptical of the Democrats’ intentions.

“We’re trying to find out … whether this is an effort to find a solution and common ground or whether this is just an effort to try to embarrass people,” Cornyn told The Hill.

Murphy’s effort won the support of dozens of Democratic senators, including Sens. Chuck Schemer (New York) and Elizabeth Warren (Massachusetts) as well as Hillary Clinton, the likely Democratic presidential nominee, and her rival Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont).

The Senate is currently considering the Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations bill. No votes were schedule Wednesday, but Murphy’s filibuster blocked his colleagues from making any amendments “pending” the first step to getting a potential vote.

Democrats have vowed to force a vote on a proposal from Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California) but Republicans argue that measure is too broad and impact individuals who are not on the terror watch list.

Republicans are backing Cornyn’s bill which would allow the attorney general to delay suspected terrorist from purchasing firearms for up to 72 hours as they try to get a court to approve blocking the sale of the firearm.