Senate Democrats weren’t just talking to hear themselves talk. When Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and a whole lot of his Senate friends launched an epic filibuster yesterday, they wanted to bring attention to proposed gun reforms they consider necessary, but they also sought votes on a couple of Democratic pieces of legislation.
As of early this morning, the efforts from Murphy & Co. were apparently a success.
Senate Democrats ended a nearly 15-hour filibuster early Thursday after Republican Party leaders reportedly agreed to allow votes on two proposed gun control measures.Sen. Chris Murphy, a Democrat from Connecticut, said that a compromise had been reached. Votes would be held on whether to ban people on the government’s terrorist watch list from obtaining gun licenses and whether to expand background checks to gun shows and internet sales, he added.
Wrapping up his difficult rhetorical challenge around 3 a.m. (ET), Murphy told his colleagues, “[I]t is our understanding that the Republican leader and the Democratic leader have spoken and that we have been given a commitment on a path forward to get votes on the floor of the Senate.”
Senate GOP leaders haven’t made a formal announcement, at least not yet, about the relevant details – when the chamber will hold votes, whether there will be amendments, etc. – but if Democrats are right and they received a “commitment,” it suggests yesterday’s filibuster produced its intended result.
Of course, holding a vote doesn’t guarantee success. Senate Republicans are in the majority, and it’s entirely likely that they’ll end up rejecting these proposals, despite their broad public popularity. What’s more, even if the bills were to somehow pass, the odds of action in the GOP-led House are poor.
But Democrats will take progress where they can find it. As yesterday got underway, the reform bills they wanted were unlikely to get a Senate vote this year, and as today gets underway, the opposite is true. If Murphy and the dozens of Democrats who participated in yesterday’s filibuster are acting as if they won this round, it’s because they did.