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Gun debate state-of-play

There's a lot of talk. There are plenty of proposals. But at the moment, there are no actual plans for Congress to pa...

Posted: Feb 26, 2018 3:00 PM
Updated: Feb 26, 2018 3:00 PM

There's a lot of talk. There are plenty of proposals. But at the moment, there are no actual plans for Congress to pass tighter gun laws.

Could that change? Of course. But as it stands, Republican leadership, which has been intentionally silent on policy proposals since the Florida shooting, is waiting to hear from their respective conferences before moving (or not moving) on anything.

Bottom line: Republican sources with direct knowledge of the current state of play express significant skepticism of anything major happening legislatively. At most, they expect some push for the "Fix NICS" (short for National Instant Criminal Background Check System) bill sponsored by Sens. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Chris Murphy, D-Connecticut, combined with some type of financial package. Even that, they acknowledge, may be a bridge too far.

The wildcard:

It's President Donald Trump. Period. If he demands legislative action on something specific, beyond his ambiguous 280-character ideas, that would change the calculations of GOP leaders. But keep the proper perspective on this -- it would not, per sources, shift GOP leaders in a way that sets up substantive gun control legislation for consideration. Instead, it will have the effect of forcing them to just do something.

Multiple sources express skepticism that the President will stick with this long enough to force the hands of GOP congressional leaders. But so far, he certainly has.

Other proposals that are out there at the moment:

- A background checks bill sponsored by Sens. Pat Toomey, R-Pennsylvania, and Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia. (Aides say this doesn't have 60 votes and has zero chance in the House.)

- A draft proposal by Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, and Jeff Flake, R-Arizona, to raise the purchase age for long guns. (Aides say this doesn't have 60 votes in the Senate and has zero chance in the House.)

- An assault weapons ban. (Aides say this doesn't have 60 votes in the Senate and has zero chance in the House.)

Read:

Lauren Fox and Ted Barrett's excellent rundown of the (very complicated) electoral and policy dynamics facing this debate in an election year (spoiler: it's not just Republicans who are wary of this policy debate):

What to watch Monday:

Taking the temperature of the rank and file as the return in the House and Senate for votes this evening.

What to expect Monday night:

Florida Sens. Marco Rubio, a Republican, and Bill Nelson, a Democrat, are tentatively planning to call for unanimous consent to move the bipartisan "Fix NICS" bill. Leadership aides tell me to expect this to be blocked. (Republican Sens. Mike Lee of Utah and Rand Paul of Kentucky still have known concerns with the bill.)

Along those lines:

Keep an eye on Democrats, in both the House and Senate, trying to force votes on measures in both chambers. Take these for what they are -- efforts designed to increase pressure on the majority, but with zero chance of actually going anywhere.

What really matters:

Tuesday is the day to keep a close eye on. House Republicans will hold a closed-door conference meeting in the morning. Senate Republicans will hold their policy lunch in the afternoon. What the respective leaders say after those meetings will determine what, if anything, happens next.

Just a reminder:

The House will be out of session by Tuesday afternoon. The Senate already has a series of judicial nominations cued up for consideration throughout the week. The idea that something substantive is happening this week is very unlikely.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 333180

Reported Deaths: 7502
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto22901279
Hinds22780438
Harrison19569326
Rankin14851287
Jackson14342251
Madison10692227
Lee10437179
Jones8746169
Forrest8210157
Lauderdale7561243
Lowndes6790150
Lamar669688
Lafayette6459124
Washington5516139
Pearl River4915149
Bolivar4909134
Oktibbeha478498
Panola4723112
Marshall4654106
Warren4640127
Pontotoc440473
Monroe4255137
Union425379
Neshoba4182180
Lincoln4098115
Hancock405088
Leflore3565125
Pike3530112
Tate349588
Alcorn343974
Sunflower343093
Adams333387
Scott331775
Yazoo331173
Simpson314890
Copiah313867
Itawamba310180
Coahoma308785
Tippah298868
Prentiss292963
Covington282483
Marion279580
Leake278475
Wayne270743
Grenada266388
George261651
Newton256664
Tishomingo236869
Winston235584
Jasper226148
Attala220873
Chickasaw216360
Stone210237
Holmes195674
Clay192254
Clarke182080
Tallahatchie181742
Calhoun177532
Smith175935
Yalobusha169440
Walthall141548
Lawrence137726
Greene135734
Amite132843
Noxubee131635
Perry131038
Montgomery130944
Carroll124531
Webster117532
Jefferson Davis113334
Tunica111127
Benton104625
Claiborne104331
Kemper100729
Humphreys99133
Franklin85923
Quitman83519
Choctaw81319
Wilkinson74632
Jefferson69728
Sharkey51518
Issaquena1696
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 570667

Reported Deaths: 11483
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson834821584
Mobile45819855
Madison36785532
Tuscaloosa26757465
Shelby26612255
Montgomery25739624
Baldwin23810325
Lee16801181
Calhoun15130332
Morgan14941289
Etowah14662368
Marshall12806235
Houston11515292
Elmore10654217
St. Clair10521251
Limestone10472158
Cullman10257204
Lauderdale9991253
DeKalb9298191
Talladega8739187
Walker7594286
Autauga7419113
Jackson7269117
Blount7184139
Colbert6583142
Coffee6045131
Dale5326117
Russell465842
Chilton4645117
Covington4579125
Franklin444381
Tallapoosa4379157
Escambia420082
Chambers3852125
Dallas3688163
Clarke364462
Marion3380106
Pike324879
Lawrence3192101
Winston291072
Bibb280165
Geneva271583
Marengo258567
Barbour243461
Pickens239162
Butler236172
Hale231878
Fayette224564
Henry205145
Randolph194944
Cherokee193948
Monroe192141
Washington177139
Macon167552
Crenshaw164458
Clay162559
Cleburne159145
Lamar149538
Lowndes144354
Wilcox129231
Bullock125642
Conecuh118130
Coosa116029
Perry109928
Sumter108032
Greene97836
Choctaw63825
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Columbus
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Tuesday more very hot and humid conditions will be the rule across our area. Some isolated to scattered showers and thunderstorms will be possible at times. A few heavy and hefty thunderstorms cannot be ruled out of the question at times.
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