Top Democrat and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced today that a proposed assault weapons ban won't be part of a gun control bill the Senate plans to take up next month because it does not have enough votes. The sponsor of the bill, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), said that she would have to make her proposal into an amendment rather than a stand-alone bill.
"I very much regret it," Feinstein, (D-Calif.), told reporters of Reid's decision. "I tried my best."
Majority Leader Reid explained why the assault weapons bill would not be a stand-alone piece of legislation:
"I'm not going to try to put something on the floor that won't succeed. I want something that will succeed. I think the worst of all worlds would be to bring to something to the floor and it dies there," Reid said.
Senator Feinstein has a history pushing for this type of legislation and infamously helped architect and shepherd through the 1994 assault weapons ban through the Senate as an amendment. When pressed back in January about what her response would be to this exact situation by CNN's Candy Crowley on State of the Union, Sen. Feinstein quickly responded that she would propose the assault weapon ban as an amendment to a larger piece of legislation.
Below are Senator Feinstein's exact words from that January 27 airing.
FEINSTEIN: Well, let me say this. This has always been an uphill fight. This has never been easy. This is the hardest of the hard.
Now, will it only be assault weapons? No, most likely. There will be a package put together. If assault weapons is left out of the package, and I'm a member of the judiciary, number two in seniority. I've been assured by the majority leader I will be able to do it as an amendment on the floor, which is the way I did it in 1993. So, that doesn't particularly bother me.
The announcement today from Harry Reid does not come as a surprise when considering this statement from Senator Feinstein made back in January.
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