The Committee on the Judiciary. Ordered to be reported with an amendment favorably.
The bill passed by 11-7 vote with Senator Grassley (R- Iowa) being the only Republican to vote favorably. Grassley changed his vote on condition that his amendment be attached to the bill that would prohibit the DOJ from allowing further ‘Gun Walking’ operations.
"My concern is this bill is a solution in search of a problem," said Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas). "Straw-purchasing for purposes of directing guns to people who cannot legally obtain them is already a crime. And so we double down and say this time we really mean it, when in fact the real problem in many instances is the lack of prosecution of existing crimes by the Department of Justice."
Cornyn was rather testy during the debate and one could easily be left in no doubt as to his opposition to S 54, and that strong opposition will be transferred to the Senate floor in due course. The same may be said about the other Republicans on the panel. Grassley himself could change his vote if his amendment fails on the floor, which is certainly a possibility. After all, the DOJ’s trustworthiness leaves something to be desired. It was also very apparent that Cornyn wasn’t impressed with the Grassley amendment.
Expect stiff opposition on the Senate floor, with a real possibility of all the gun related bills yet to be debated in committee, to fail cloture.
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