Transcript: Sen. Harry Reid on the Senate’s failure to pass the Toomey-Manchin gun legislation

Partial transcript of remarks by Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on the failure to pass the gun legislation (S. 649). The press briefing was held on April 17, 2013:

Last week when we began debate on this bill, I indicated at that time the hard part had just started. We knew all along that this wouldn’t be easy. I have enormous appreciation for the hard work done by Sen. Manchin, Toomey, Kirk and Schumer to negotiate a bipartisan compromise on background checks.

I want everyone to understand this is just beginning. This is not the end.

The forces that worked to defeat this amendment became so obsessed with the defeating any common sense reforms whatsoever, they lost sight of the big picture.

The big picture sometimes is little pictures. People like Jessica who went to watch a movie and was gunned down in Aurora, Colorado. Families I met today from Newtown. Beautiful little children who were murdered.

This is just the beginning.

90% of Democrats here on the floor stood with 90% of the American people for defending background checks.

I appreciate very much the handful of Republicans that have crossed the aisle to stand with us on this common sense issue: to keep felons and people with severe emotional problems from having guns.

The simple fact is that the overwhelming Senate Republicans – and that is a gross understatement – are ignoring the voices of 90% of the American people – not people from Dallas, Texas, New York City, LA but everybody in America from every state. Time and time again, on issue after issue, I’m sorry to say we’ve seen Republicans put their short-term political goals and interests ahead of the interests of mainstream America.

The American people are awake, alert, paying, and they’re not going to stand for this forever – what just took place.

There are very, very few things – very few things – that 90% of Americans agree on. Expanding background checks to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, terrorists, and those with mental illness is one of them.

Today, the brand that the Republican Party has become even more out of step, more extreme, than it was before and that says a lot.

At the beginning of this process, I made it clear that any legislation that passes the Senate must include background checks to be effective. That is still the case.

On the floor today, I entered some wonky-sounding language – motion to reconsider – but what this means is this issue is not going away.

The people behind me who’ve been hurt, physically and emotionally, with violence are going to continue working with us. We have not given up. They deserve better. The families deserve better. So I pledge to keep them and everyone within the sound of my voice assured that I am going to do everything that I can to fight for meaningful background check legislation. The fight has just begun. It’s not going away.

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One Comment on “Transcript: Sen. Harry Reid on the Senate’s failure to pass the Toomey-Manchin gun legislation

  1. Pingback: Transcript: President Barack Obama's remarks on the Senate's failure to pass the Toomey-Manchin gun legislation - April 17, 2013 | What The Folly?!

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