Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) has taken to the floor of the Senate to demand action on gun safety measures.
I'm speaking on the Senate floor to honor the victims of the Orlando attack & demand the Senate address gun violence. #Enough
— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) June 15, 2016
He’s not just making a brief statement.
I am prepared to stand on the Senate floor and talk about the need to prevent gun violence for as long as I can. I've had #Enough
— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) June 15, 2016
So far he has been joined by the senior Senator from Connecticut Richard Blumenthal, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), who said that he has “cleared his day” to stay on this. You can watch it on C-Span.
I’ll update this when/if other senators join them.
Updated 1:16 pm: Murphy is seeking action on 2 things: (1) deny suspected terrorists from purchasing firearms, and (2) require universal background checks. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), who lives in Orlando, has joined the group.
Update 1:30 pm: Senator Chuck Schumer is in the house.
Update 1:40 pm: BFD – Joe Manchin (D-WV) is on the floor talking about why a Senator from a state with a strong gun culture supports these actions.
Update 2:05 pm: Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) is speaking now.
Update 2:15 pm: Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) has joined the group. BTW – if your Senator hasn’t been mentioned yet, you might want to call their office to either find out when they will participate or give them a piece of your mind if they haven’t committed to do so.
Update 2:45 pm: Sen. Pat Leahy (D-VT) is speaking now – and I can see my Senator, Al Franken, waiting in the wings behind him.
Update 2:55 pm: Aha!!!! The first Republican speaks to these two reforms. Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) says the amendment blocking a terrorist suspect from buying a gun is problematic because it doesn’t allow people to challenge their inclusion on the list. While Toomey was author of the bill that attempted to require universal background checks following the shooting in Newtown, today he is spouting the Republican’s attempt to distract from getting anything done.
And now we’ll hear from Sen. Al Franken (D-MN).
Update 3:10 pm: Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) has taken the floor.
Update 3:20 pm: Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI) is speaking now. Sen. Murphy took a moment to note that many House members have come to the chamber to demonstrate their support.
Update 3:30 pm: Sen. Murphy has now been at it about
5 4 hours. Speaking now is Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) and it looks like Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) will be up next.
Update 3:55 pm: Now up is Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).
Update 4:10 pm: Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) is speaking now.
Update 4:30 pm: Sen. Bob Menendez (D- NJ) is next up.
The NRA has released a statement about the proposal to restrict terrorist suspects from purchasing a gun. Basically they say they agree on the need for the prohibition. They just have a few unworkable poison pills the want to include.
The NRA believes that terrorists should not be allowed to purchase or possess firearms, period. Anyone on a terror watchlist who tries to buy a gun should be thoroughly investigated by the FBI and the sale delayed while the investigation is ongoing. If an investigation uncovers evidence of terrorist activity or involvement, the government should be allowed to immediately go to court, block the sale, and arrest the terrorist. At the same time, due process protections should be put in place that allow law-abiding Americans who are wrongly put on a watchlist to be removed.
Several Democrats have noted that without universal background checks, any attempt to limit access to terrorist suspects will be unenforceable and ineffective.
Update 4:40 pm: Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) has taken the floor.
Update 4:45 pm: Sen Kirsten Gillibrand is speaking very passionately now.
Update 4:50 pm: Looks like the women are taking over. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) is the latest speaker.
Update 5:00 pm: Next up…Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA).
Update 5:30 pm: Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) spoke and now we’re hearing from Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH).
Update 5:50 pm: Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) has spoken. By my count we’ve now heard from 25 of the 44 Democrats in the Senate and 1 Republican.
Update 6:00 pm: We’ve now heard from Senators Tom Carper (D-DE) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI).
Update 6:25 pm: The mood has gone somber as Baldwin reads the names and life stories of those who died in the Orlando shooting.
Update 7:30 pm: The filibuster has now been underway for 8 hours and by my count we’ve heard from 33 of the 44 Democratic Senators. Lately that has included Tom Udall (D-NM), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Martin Heinrich (D-NM) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).
Update 8:30 pm: Sen. Chris Murphy has now been at it for 9 hours. In addition to hearing from Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI), his partners – Senators Blumenthal and Booker – have been holding the floor.
In a really beautiful moment, Murphy – speaking directly to his son in the gallery – said that continuing to fight, no matter the immediate outcome, is always important.
Update 9:30 pm: It’s now been 10 hours. New Senators joining the filibuster in the last hour include Joe Donnelly (R-IN) and Angus King (I-ME). That means that we’ve heard from 35 of 44 Democrats and 1 of 2 Independents.
Update 10:30 pm: When I started this live-blog earlier today I had no idea where this filibuster would go. At the time, not many news organizations were paying attention and it was just Senators Murphy, Blumenthal and Booker who were carrying the load. Eleven hours later, we’ve now heard from 40 Senators (Maria Cantrell and Tim Kaine joined the effort in the last hour), #filibuster is the number one trending topic on twitter and publications like the Boston Globe have started tickers counting how long it has lasted. I haven’t heard anyone speculate about how this will end. We’ll have to regather tomorrow morning to find out.