Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chairman Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) said Tuesday he is surveying liberals to see if there is enough opposition to the deal to give them leverage to renegotiate it with leadership. Grijalva himself said he was undecided on final passage of the measure and could consider ultimately supporting the bill if he is allowed a separate vote against the exemption. The reaction of many of us was this was one more concession on what was otherwise a good piece of legislation, and we didnt like it, he said.
And Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.), a leading gun control advocate, likewise said she remained undecided on final passage. I have a concern more so with the NRA putting their fingerprint on too much of our legislation, she said. If people want to change that, theyve got to start standing up, too.
Remaining hurdles notwithstanding, a Democratic leadership aide said the bill is on track to hit the floor this week. Were not there yet, but were close, the aide said.
Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) has introduced a companion measure in the Senate, but its chances there remain uncertain. He struggled, without success, to find a Republican co-sponsor for that measure and Senate Democratic leaders have since told their counterparts across the Capitol that House passage will give the measure the boost it needs in their chamber. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Tuesday ripped the House carve-out. Just as it wasnt the Democrats money to offer in the health care debate, free speech isnt theirs to ration out to those willing to play ball its a right guaranteed by our First Amendment to all Americans, he said in a statement.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.