The Senate’s plans to debate a spending bill for the Justice Department went out the window June 15, as Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) took the floor, beginning what turned into a 15-hour filibuster.
Murphy launched the talk-a-thon to protest the Senate’s lack of movement on legislation to curb gun violence.
“This isn’t new to me,” he said from the floor, “but I’m at my wit’s end. I’ve had enough. I’ve had enough of the ongoing slaughter of innocents, and I’ve had enough of inaction in this body.”
Murphy’s efforts garnered national attention, and as a consequence, the Senate is now expected to vote on a raft of gun legislation on June 20. He took to Twitter to express his thanks to all those who raised their voice in support:
This would never have happened without you. Without your outpouring of support- your calls, tweets & emails. Your deafening calls for action— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) June 16, 2016
Despite the fact that votes are scheduled, it’s unlikely that any of the four proposed bills will be passed. In fact, all have failed to pass the Senate before.
“Instead of trying to find a solution that would work and still protect people’s constitutional rights, we’re going to battle to a draw on Monday night,” Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said.
Two of the bills — one to prevent people on the terrorist watch list from buying guns and the other to close the gun show loophole — are sponsored by Democrats. The other two are sponsored by Republicans.
Even if the bills don’t pass, the debate will hardly be over. Such a failure, in fact, may grant increased urgency to the cause of gun legislation, and if Sen. Murphy’s tweet is evidence, vocal support for the cause does make a difference.