The Senate vote on final passage was 65-33. A cluster of House Democrats who watched the vote in the chamber’s rear included Democrat Lucy McBath, whose 17-year old son was shot to death in 2012 by a man complaining his music was too loud.
In the key roll-call hours earlier, senators voted 65-34 to end a filibuster by conservative Republican senators. That was five more than the 60-vote threshold needed. The House planned to vote on the measure Friday and approval seemed certain.
On both votes, 15 Senate Republicans joined all 50 Democrats, including their two allied independents, in backing the legislation.
Yet the votes highlighted the risks Republicans face by defying the party’s pro-gun voters and firearms groups like the National Rifle Association. Senators Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Todd Young of Indiana were the only two of the 15 up for reelection this fall. Of the rest, four are retiring and eight don’t face voters until 2026.
Tellingly, Republican senators voting “no” included potential 2024 presidential contenders such as Ted Cruz of Texas, Josh Hawley of Missouri and Tim Scott of South Carolina. Some of the party’s most conservative members voted “no” as well, including Senators Rand Paul of Kentucky and Mike Lee of Utah.
While the Senate measure was a clear breakthrough, the outlook for continued congressional movement on gun curbs is dim.
Less than one-third of the Senate’s 50 Republicans senators backed the measure and solid Republican opposition is certain in the House. Top House Republicans urged a “no” vote in an email from the Number 2 leader, Steve Scalise of Louisiana, that called the bill “an…