Here Are the Republicans Who Voted to Allow Debate on the Senate Gun Bill

Jay Mallin/ZUMAPRESS.com

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As families of Newtown massacre victims watched from the gallery, the Senate voted 68 to 31 on Thursday morning to allow the Democratic gun package to proceed to a formal vote. Sixteen Republicans voted to move forward on the bill (see the full list below), easily warding off a filibuster threat from Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.) and 13 other Republicans. Two Democrats, Sens. Mark Begich (Alaska) and Mark Pryor (Ark.), voted against proceeding to formal debate on the bill.

Republican opposition centered on a bill to establish universal background checks that was introduced by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). On Wednesday, Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) announced a compromise amendment to exempt transfers between family, friends, and neighbors, and temporary transfers between hunters, from background checks. The compromise also took steps to assuage Republican fears about a national gun registry and Second Amendment infringement.

Now begins the real test: Republicans and Democrats will offer a series of amendments, after which Republicans can still filibuster a vote on the final bill. If the bill survives the Senate it will head to the GOP-led House, where conservative Republicans like Rep. Steve Stockman (Texas) are pressuring Speaker John Boehner (Ohio) to block it from reaching the floor. (Some Republicans are apparently siding with Democrats, however.)

After Thursday’s Senate vote, Reid said that the Manchin-Toomey amendment would be heard on Tuesday. Reid also reaffirmed his vow to allow votes on amendments to ban high-capacity magazines and assault weapons. “Some people love [the assault weapons ban], some people hate it. But we’re going to have a vote on it,” he said on the Senate floor.

The National Rifle Association, which initially called the Manchin-Toomey compromise a “positive development” that took a step away from the universal background checks called for in Schumer’s bill, later penned a letter to senators calling the compromise “misguided” and warning them that the NRA would be keeping tabs on senators who voted for “anti-gun” amendments.

“[T]he NRA will oppose any amendments offered to [Schumer’s bill] that restrict fundamental Second Amendment freedoms; including, but not limited to, proposals that would ban commonly and lawfully owned firearms and magazines or criminalize the private transfer of firearms through an expansion of background checks,” the letter read.

Here are the Republicans who voted to move forward on the gun bill:

Lamar Alexander (Tenn.)
Kelly Ayotte (N.H.)
Richard Burr (N.C.)
Saxby Chambliss (Ga.)
Tom Coburn (Okla.)
Susan Collins (Maine)
Bob Corker (Tenn.)
Jeff Flake (Ariz.)
Lindsey Graham (S.C.)
Dean Heller (Nev.)
John Hoeven (N.D.)
Johnny Isakson (Ga.)
Mark Kirk (Ill.)
John McCain (Ariz.)
Pat Toomey (Pa.)
Roger Wicker (Miss.)

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Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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