The Senate is expected to reject an assault weapons ban when it’s introduced as an amendment to a large gun control package next month. But Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) isn’t taking any chances. On Friday, the first-term conservative is planning on filing an amendment to the Senate budget resolution making it impossible for any gun control legislation to pass the Senate without a two-thirds majority—a standard currently reserved for the ratification of treaties. (That’s an even higher threshold than that imposed by filibusters, which can be broken with 60 votes.)
“[I]f the Lee amendment is passed, the practical effect will be that gun control can never again pass the Senate,” the far-right Second Amendment group Gun Owners of America boasted in an email to members on Friday.
Lee’s amendment won’t pass. But the fact that Republicans would consider carving out an entirely new voting threshold just for gun control legislation tells you just how little ground they’re willing to concede, at least publicly, on this fight.
Here’s the amendment: