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Fleischer predicts Democrats will nix filibuster for gun control

Fleischer predicts Democrats will nix filibuster for gun control
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Fox News contributor and former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer on Wednesday predicted that Senate Democrats will move to nix the Senate filibuster on gun reform legislation after multiple deadly mass shootings. 

During an interview on Fox’s “America’s Newsroom,” Fleischer, who served under former President George W. Bush’s administration, said that gun control is one of the issues at the “core” of the Democratic Party. 

“I think this is going to be an issue that breaks the Senate,” he said. “It is so deep and fervent inside the Democratic Party that gun control is the answer.”

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Fleischer went on to predict that Senate Democrats will “break the filibuster over this,” adding, “I don’t think they have any choice.”

“The base demands it, they demand action, they say thoughts and prayers are not enough,” he continued. “They’re going to try to get through whatever they can get through on 50 votes, and this will be the issue that they challenge the filibuster over.”

Co-host Bill Hemmer pointed out opposition to nixing the filibuster among moderate Democrats, particularly Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinGame of votes — why budget reconciliation isn't the answer Democrats need Why President Biden is all-in in infrastructure Senators in the dark on parliamentarian's decision MORE (D-W.Va.), who told CNN on Tuesday that he would still advocate against it even if removing the rule would allow the passage of his bipartisan bill with Republican Sen. Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeySasse rebuked by Nebraska Republican Party over impeachment vote Philly GOP commissioner on censures: 'I would suggest they censure Republican elected officials who are lying' Toomey censured by several Pennsylvania county GOP committees over impeachment vote MORE (Pa.), which requires background checks on armed sales at gun shows and over the internet. 

The bill goes short of mandating background checks in private transfers of firearms, which the broader House gun reform bills have included. 

However, Fleischer said, “Manchin also said he would only support a bipartisan COVID bill, and of course, there was a partisan COVID bill and he supported it.” 

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“Manchin is always an open question,” he added. “I’m not sure I would take him at his word, particularly when the pressure mounts on the core issue that defines the modern day Democratic Party.” 

Fleischer’s remarks come amid growing support among Democrats to eliminate the 60-vote filibuster needed to end debate on legislation. Ending the practice would return the Senate to a “talking filibuster,” in which senators need to physically be on the floor to block legislation

Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck Schumer'Building Back Better' requires a new approach to US science and technology Pew poll: 50 percent approve of Democrats in Congress Former state Rep. Vernon Jones launches challenge to Kemp in Georgia MORE (D-N.Y.) has pledged to put forth a series of bills on the floor, which will likely force Democrats to take a position on removing the filibuster in order to move forward their desired policy proposals in the face of Republican opposition. 

President Biden on Tuesday called on Congress to enact meaningful gun control legislation, including a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, as well as closing loopholes in background checks for firearms. 

Biden’s call for further reforms included a demand that the Senate “immediately pass” two bills approved by the House earlier this year that would expand background checks on gun sales, and Schumer has vowed to take action on the legislation. 

Other lawmakers have signaled that they would support removing the filibuster in order to move forward a range of other legislative reforms. 

Sen. Angus KingAngus KingBiden to hold second meeting with bipartisan lawmakers on infrastructure New US sanctions further chill Biden-Putin relations Schumer lays groundwork for future filibuster reform MORE (I-Maine) on Wednesday suggested he would support changing Senate rules should Republicans block voting rights legislation. 

"All-out opposition to reasonable voting rights protections cannot be enabled by the filibuster; if forced to choose between a Senate rule and democracy itself, I know where I will come down," King wrote in an op-ed for The Washington Post.