A handful of Senate Democrats on Monday voted against a sportsmen’s bill that is intended to preserve Federal lands for hunting and fishing because the legislation didn’t include gun control language. Despite the objections, the bill moved forward on a vote of 82-12.
Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, both of Connecticut, vocally opposed the bill and voted against cloture on the motion because the sportsmen legislation didn’t include language calling for tighter gun control in the U.S.
“I won’t be voting for cloture today because we are long overdue to make a statement in the United States Senate about the tens of thousands of deaths happening due to guns all across the country,” Murphy said. “Everyone has a role to play in trying to stem this epidemic of violence.”
Blumenthal, who told reporters he plans to amend the legislation to include gun control measures, also weighed in, saying, “I can’t vote for a measure that makes owning or possessing or using guns more readily or easily usable when we have failed to act and we have failed to act on commonsense, sensible measures that will stop gun violence.”
The two were joined by fellow Democratic Senators Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), Barbara Boxer (Calif.), Bob Menendez (N.J.), Cory Booker (N.J.), Jack Reed (R.I.), Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), Ed Markey (Mass.), Mazie Hirono (Hawaii) and Ben Cardin (Md.) in opposition.
The bill is a bipartisan piece of legislation sponsored by North Carolina Senator Kay Hagan and Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. The pro-sportsman language in the legislation was seen as many red-State Democrats facing tough reelections as a way to curry favor with conservatives voters.