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Blog: The Guys With The Guns, and The Money, Won This Round

Apr 18, 2013 | By Rachael Travis

This has been an unbelievably difficult week, feeling a bit like a nightmare that concluded with a cold bucket of water being thrown on me. That cold bucket of water was the reality that money really can speak louder than the voices of constituents. When it became apparent on Wednesday evening that the Manchin-Toomey amendment was going to fail my heart sank.

My heart didn’t sink because I necessarily thought the amendment would pass; instead it sank because I realized that those 45 Senators who voted against it weren’t representing their constituents in voting against the amendment, they were representing the NRA.

Attached is a list of the 45[1] Senators who voted against the Manchin-Toomey amendment on Wednesday April 17. Along with their picture is included the number of people from their states who have been killed due to gun violence as well as the amount of money they accepted from the National Rifle Association in their most recent election. We have also provided their office phone number and their Twitter handles, we encourage our members who are represented by these Senators to contact them and tell them that their vote was unacceptable.

We at NETWORK believe that the Manchin-Toomey amendment was not perfect. But, it was a good first step towards reducing gun violence in our country. The result of this vote exposed just how powerful the gun lobby is in Washington, D.C.  Leading up to the vote it was reported that 90% of Americans supported extending background checks, meaning that the Manchin-Toomey amendment should have passed not with a simple majority, but with an overwhelming majority. Instead the amendment failed to get the 60 votes needed.

As the previous paragraph would suggest, it has been a frustrating couple of weeks to be a small lobby with not a lot of money to spend. The silver lining to all of this frustration is that we now know which Senators were more interested in representing their corporate donors than their voting constituents, and now that we know who they are, it will be easier for constituents to go after them. And that is just what we at NETWORK are asking you to do. Continue to tell your Senators that, as a constituent, you demand they support the Manchin-Toomey amendment when it returns.

Senator Reid has pulled the amendment from being considered for the time being and has said that the Senate will come back and work on this bill. 


[1] Harry Reid is excluded from this list because his no vote was a procedural vote that would allow the amendment to be brought back up for a vote on the Senate floor.

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