Wednesday, February 15, 2017

House And Senate Have Both Approved Overturning Social Security Rule

The House approved House Joint Resolution 40 on February 2nd and the Senate approved it today by a vote of 57 yea to 43 nay. This overturns the Social Security Administration rulemaking approved on December 19, 2017 which would have made certain recipients who require help with their finances as prohibited persons. The rule would have deemed them mentally deficient and reported up to four million recipients to the FBI for inclusion in the NICS database. The Joint Resolution now goes to the desk of President Donald Trump for his signature.

It should be noted that it wasn't just the gun community that opposed this rule. Many in the civil rights and mental health community opposed it as well including the ACLU.

The 57 Senators in favor of overturning the rule included every Republican, Democrats Donnelly (IN), Heitkamp (ND), Manchin (WV), and Tester (MT), and Independent Angus King of Maine. In a sign that elections have consequences and that the gun prohibitionists' money applied in tight races can have an impact, both Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Sen. Catherine Cortez Mastro (D-NV) voted to deny the rights of senior citizens. It also goes to show that some of the Democrats in states which President Trump carried are starting to feel the heat.

Just so there is no confusion as to who voted for the rights of senior citizens and who did not, the yeas and nays are below:
Grouped By Vote Position
YEAs ---57
Alexander (R-TN)
Barrasso (R-WY)
Blunt (R-MO)
Boozman (R-AR)
Burr (R-NC)
Capito (R-WV)
Cassidy (R-LA)
Cochran (R-MS)
Collins (R-ME)
Corker (R-TN)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Cotton (R-AR)
Crapo (R-ID)
Cruz (R-TX)
Daines (R-MT)
Donnelly (D-IN)
Enzi (R-WY)
Ernst (R-IA)
Fischer (R-NE)
Flake (R-AZ)
Gardner (R-CO)
Graham (R-SC)
Grassley (R-IA)
Hatch (R-UT)
Heitkamp (D-ND)
Heller (R-NV)
Hoeven (R-ND)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
Johnson (R-WI)
Kennedy (R-LA)
King (I-ME)
Lankford (R-OK)
Lee (R-UT)
Manchin (D-WV)
McCain (R-AZ)
McConnell (R-KY)
Moran (R-KS)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Paul (R-KY)
Perdue (R-GA)
Portman (R-OH)
Risch (R-ID)
Roberts (R-KS)
Rounds (R-SD)
Rubio (R-FL)
Sasse (R-NE)
Scott (R-SC)
Shelby (R-AL)
Strange (R-AL)
Sullivan (R-AK)
Tester (D-MT)
Thune (R-SD)
Tillis (R-NC)
Toomey (R-PA)
Wicker (R-MS)
Young (R-IN)
NAYs ---43
Baldwin (D-WI)
Bennet (D-CO)
Blumenthal (D-CT)
Booker (D-NJ)
Brown (D-OH)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Cardin (D-MD)
Carper (D-DE)
Casey (D-PA)
Coons (D-DE)
Cortez Masto (D-NV)
Duckworth (D-IL)
Durbin (D-IL)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Franken (D-MN)
Gillibrand (D-NY)
Harris (D-CA)
Hassan (D-NH)
Heinrich (D-NM)
Hirono (D-HI)
Kaine (D-VA)
Klobuchar (D-MN)
Leahy (D-VT)
Markey (D-MA)
McCaskill (D-MO)
Menendez (D-NJ)
Merkley (D-OR)
Murphy (D-CT)
Murray (D-WA)
Nelson (D-FL)
Peters (D-MI)
Reed (D-RI)
Sanders (I-VT)
Schatz (D-HI)
Schumer (D-NY)
Shaheen (D-NH)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Udall (D-NM)
Van Hollen (D-MD)
Warner (D-VA)
Warren (D-MA)
Whitehouse (D-RI)
Wyden (D-OR)

The NRA issued a statement this morning soon after the vote was taken applauding the move by the Senate.
NRA Applauds Senate's Bipartisan Vote to Respect Due Process for Gun Owners

Fairfax, Va.— The National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) today applauded the U.S. Senate's passage of H.J. Res. 40, a joint resolution to revoke a final rule made by the Obama administration that would strip law-abiding Americans of their Second Amendment rights. The resolution passed by a bipartisan vote of 57-43.

“Today’s Senate vote was the next step in rolling back some of the egregious government overreach that characterized the Obama era,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director, NRA-ILA. “Congress is reversing a last-minute, back-door gun grab that stripped law-abiding Americans of their rights without due process.”

Late last year, the Social Security Administration (SSA) finalized a proposed rule to ban certain recipients who use a representative payee from owning firearms. This ill-conceived action stripped some of the most vulnerable Americans of their right to keep and bear arms without due process.

The NRA immediately opposed the Obama administration's efforts when the proposal was first announced in summer of 2015. The NRA has fought every step of the way to ensure that social security recipients are not stripped of their rights without due process of law.

Under the Congressional Review Act, Congress is allowed to dispose of any actions an outgoing administration initiates in its final six months. This rule was implemented during that time frame. The bill received bipartisan support, passing the House last week House by a 235-180 vote. Today's bipartisan Senate vote of 57-43 is the next step in reversing Obama’s unconstitutional gun grab. The bill now moves to President Donald Trump’s desk.

“We look forward to President Trump signing this important legislation into law,” concluded Cox.

The NRA thanks Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX) and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for their work on this important legislation.

UPDATE: I received a press release from Sen. Mike Crapo (R-WY) which applauded the overturning of the SSA rule. I think his comments hit to the heart of the matter.
“Today’s resolution of disapproval will stop the Social Security Administration from stigmatizing people with disabilities and stripping beneficiaries of their Second Amendment rights,” said Crapo, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. “The Social Security Administration is not a court of law and it is unacceptable that it take any action against a beneficiary without due process. Congress has done the right thing to stop this overreach and repeal this rule.”
The gun prohibitionists at the Brady Campaign are gnashing their teeth over this vote and are, of course, pleading for money.
Dear (my deceased mom),

The gun lobby lap dogs in Congress have done it again. This week, thousands of Americans jammed Senate phone lines with calls. America’s mayors, prosecutors, and law enforcement officials spoke out. And Brady supporters like you flooded their Senators’ inboxes with emails.

But the gun lobby lap dogs in the Senate ignored these warnings. They listened to the corporate gun lobby instead, and voted to roll back critical protections that kept guns out of the hands of people with mental illnesses that make them a danger to themselves or others.

Still, our collective voices made a huge difference in this fight. Your calls and emails swayed several Senators who might have otherwise voted the wrong way, and came within just a few votes of victory.

You got us close, but today made it clear that the fight isn’t over. Gun lobby lap dogs in Congress may be listening to the corporate gun lobby instead of the voices that matter most - yours - but we’re going to hold them accountable.

We won’t back down, we won’t be silenced, and we will continue to fight.

You can join the effort to keep pressure on these lap dogs. Your contribution now will keep us one step ahead of the gun lobby’s plan to make America less safe.

Thank you for all you do,

Kristin Brown
Chief Strategy Officer
Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence
You will never sway politicians by calling them "gun lobby lap dogs". Remember what Jeff Knox always reminds us, we are the gun lobby. It isn't just Chris and Wayne in Fairfax. It is you and me and everyone else who believes in freedom. As to those senators whose votes were swayed, I wish the Brady Campaign would name names. I'd like to know who is against due process and civil rights for senior citizens.


  1. McCaskill (MO) voted no. So did Nelson (FL) and Brown (OH). Trump won all three states. Trump won MO by over 18 points.

    This does not bode well for reciprocity.

    I wish this vote would be retroactively scored by the NRA. McCaskill especially needs to feel more heat. Nelson and Brown are very vulnerable, but they will have to be replaced with republicans.

    1. I don't know that this vote isn't being scored by the NRA. Given their push on this I'm thinking it probably will be.

      As counter-intuitive as it may seem, I want Claire McCaskill to vote for gun control every time it comes up in the next two years. I also want the Republicans in Missouri to nominate an electable candidate to oppose her unlike four years ago when they blew it. I want gun control to be an albatross around her neck.

    2. There is certainly logic in wanting McCaskill to vote for gun control every time, so she can be replaced. OTOH, the future's uncertain, and the end is always near. A vote for the 2nd Amendment today is worth a lot more than the potential for a vote 3 years from now.

    3. Nelson has been reliably an Evil Party lap dog for as long as I can recall. He's been my senator for a long time. Rumor has it he's going to run for governor next time and give up his seat. That may be the only way to get him out of there. Like many formerly red states, the influx of Northeast liberals has turned Florida purple. A handful of big cities almost outweigh the majority of the area in the state.

  2. I don't know about Hassan but Cortez-Mastro doesn't need Bloomberg money to hate gun owners. It is who she is.