Dems blast Republicans after failed gun votes
© Greg Nash

Democrats ripped Republicans on Monday evening after lawmakers rejected gun control proposals approximately a week after the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. 

"I'm mortified by today's vote, but I'm not surprised by it," Sen. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyDemocrats brace for slog on Biden's spending plan Overnight Defense: US launches another airstrike in Somalia | Amendment to expand Pentagon recusal period added to NDAA | No. 2 State Dept. official to lead nuclear talks with Russia US launches second Somalia strike in week MORE (D-Conn.), who led a 15-hour filibuster on the Senate floor last week, told reporters. "We learned in the months after Sandy Hook that the [National Rifle Association] has a vice-like grip on this place."


Sen. Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonTom Brady to Biden: '40 percent of the people still don't think we won' Rubio, Demings rake in cash as Florida Senate race heats up How transparency on UFOs can unite a deeply divided nation MORE (D-Fla.) added that "the NRA won again." 

Their comments come after senators rejected a Democratic proposal to expand background checks, as well as a measure from Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinBiden signs bill to bolster crime victims fund Stripping opportunity from DC's children Progressive groups ask for town hall with Feinstein to talk filibuster MORE (D-Calif.) to block individuals from buying a gun when there is a "reasonable suspicion" they have been or will be involved in a terrorist attack. 

Republicans argued both of the Democratic proposals were too broad. 

They offered a background check measure from Sen. Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Jan. 6 probe, infrastructure to dominate week Grassley pressured to run as Democrats set sights on Iowa The Hill's Morning Report - Pelosi considers adding GOP voices to Jan. 6 panel MORE (R-Iowa) and a separate amendment from Sen. John CornynJohn CornynDACA court ruling puts weight of immigration reform on Democrats Schumer feels pressure from all sides on spending strategy Data reveal big opportunity to finish the vaccine job MORE (R-Texas) to temporarily allow the attorney general to delay the sale of the gun and let a court decide if the sale should be permanently blocked. 

Both of the GOP proposals also failed when Democrats — and some Republicans — voted against them. 

A CNN/ORC International poll released Monday found that 85 percent of Americans support blocking individuals on the terrorist watchlist from being able to buy a gun. 

More than 90 percent of Americans support requiring a background check on all gun sales to find out if the prospective buyer has been convicted of a felony, according to the same poll. 

Democratic senators pointed to the poll Monday evening, arguing that Republicans could face political repercussions for their votes. 

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said the "political dynamic of the nation has changed" since the December 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn. 

"I don't think democracy allows for this Congress to be so out of step with the American public for very long,” Murphy added.  

GOP Sens. Mark KirkMark Steven KirkDuckworth announces reelection bid Brave new world: Why we need a Senate Human Rights Commission  Senate majority battle snags Biden Cabinet hopefuls MORE (Ill.) and Kelly AyotteKelly Ann AyottePoll: Potential Sununu-Hassan matchup in N.H. a dead heat  Democrats facing tough reelections back bipartisan infrastructure deal Sununu seen as top recruit in GOP bid to reclaim Senate MORE (N.H.), who both face difficult reelection bids in states previously carried by Obama, voted for Feinstein's proposal. 

"Unfortunately, where we find ourselves is our typical political football, though. And I believe we should stop playing political football with something so important," Ayotte said ahead of Monday's vote. 

Ayotte has been working with GOP Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsSchumer urges GOP to ignore Trump: He's 'rooting for failure' Trump pressures McConnell, GOP to ditch bipartisan talks until they have majority Transit funding, broadband holding up infrastructure deal MORE (R-Maine) on legislation expected to be rolled out Tuesday. 

But Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidWarner backing 'small carve-out' on filibuster for voting rights Senate hopefuls embrace nuking filibuster Biden fails to break GOP 'fever' MORE (D-Nev.) singled out Ayotte in the Democratic press conference Monday evening, saying she's "doing everything but yoga on the Senate floor to justify what she's doing." 

Kirk also voted against the Grassley and Cornyn proposals and for Murphy's background check measure. 

The Senate's fight over gun control comes after a mass shooting at an Orlando gay nightclub — where Omar Mateen killed 49 people and injured 53 more — sparked a larger debate over tougher gun laws. That fight has spilled over into the 2016 fight, where Republicans are defending 24 Senate seats.

Katie McGinty, who is hoping to unseat Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), has repeatedly called on Toomey to support the Democratic proposals. 

“Today was our chance to find out which members of the Senate are serious about actually doing something to stop gun violence and which members aren't. Pat Toomey's votes today show that he is long on rhetoric but short on action," she said in a statement Monday evening. 

Toomey has offered his own gun control proposal in the wake of the Florida shooting and said Monday that either his measure or a forthcoming bill from Collins should be allowed to have a vote. 

Former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, a Democrat running against Sen. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanSenators scramble to save infrastructure deal On The Money: Senate infrastructure talks on shaky grounds | Trump tells Republicans to walk away | GOP sees debt ceiling as its leverage against Biden Schumer urges GOP to ignore Trump: He's 'rooting for failure' MORE (R-Ohio), also called Monday's votes "another tragic example of how [Portman] is pushing the agenda of his rich and powerful friends and the Washington power brokers he serves."

Both Portman and Toomey voted for the Cornyn and Grassley amendments.