Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has promised for more than a year to have a vote on two House-passed bills to expand background checks on gun sales — but he has been reluctant to force a vote on the issue knowing that they will fail, even as he has set up failed votes on other issues, like abortion and voting rights, before.
The bills are likely to get less than 50 votes — much less the 60 votes to overcome a filibuster.
It’s unclear when Schumer will try to force a procedural vote to break a filibuster. Unless there’s an agreement from all 100 senators, the earliest he could set up the procedural vote would be Saturday, according to a Democratic aide.
But senators were expected to leave for next week’s Memorial Day recess on Thursday afternoon. So they may wait until after the recess to take that procedural vote, even though leaving town amid the Texas tragedy would be bad optics.
The aide said Schumer has not indicated when he may try to force the vote yet.