Monday, December 11, 2017

Reciprocity Passed The House But Will It Pass The Senate

Ian Argent, in a guest post at Shall Not Be Questioned, has run the numbers on HR 38 to see the chances it will pass in the Senate. He compared how the Senate voted on a proposal for carry reciprocity put forth by Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) in 2013 and how he expects them to vote now.
Starting with the 2013 vote (57 Ayes to invoke cloture), I did up a spreadsheet of the likely vote results in 2017, based on current occupancy, the 2013 vote, and the Senators political stances on the issue.

I came out with maximum of 59 Aye votes (assuming Luther Strange gets to vote Aye or his replacement votes Aye).

The vote delta (because we had both gains and losses)

NH: -1 (Maggie Hassan replaced Kelly Ayotte)

IA: +1 (Joni Ernst replaced Tom Harkin)

SD: +1 (Mike Rounds replaced Tim Johnson)

WV: +1 (Shelley Moore replaced John Rockefeller)

However, what I don’t see is the 60th vote. I broke out the Nay votes who are in seats up in 2018 in states that voted for Trump

Bill Nelson is a hard NO
Claire McCaskill is a hard NO
Sherrod Brown is a hard NO
Bob Casey is a firm No
Tammy Baldwin is a hard NO
Unfortunately, I think Ian is correct. So long as the Senate has the filibuster on everything but judicial nominees, then 60 votes are going to be required.

I was looking at the vote in the House on HR 822 back in 2011. It was interesting to compare that with the vote on HR 38. HR 38 passed the House last week by a vote of 231-198. The ayes included 6 Democrats and 225 Republicans while the nays included 184 Democrats and 14 Republican. By contrast, the vote back in 2011 was 272-154 in favor of passage. The big difference can be attributed to 43 Democrats voting in favor of concealed carry reciprocity.

Of those 43 Democrats who voted in favor of concealed carry reciprocity in 2011, many are no longer in the House. A couple such as Martin Heinrich (D-NM) and Joe Donnelly (D-IN) have moved on to the Senate. In fact, they were two of the Democrats who voted in favor of Cornyn's bill in 2013. What is disturbing, however, are the 13 Democrats who voted in favor of reciprocity in 2011 who voted no on it in 2017 even though the bill contained the Fix NICS Act. What made them switch their vote on reciprocity for an aye to a nay? Did the Democrats crack the whip on those members or was it that they were warned that they would have a primary opponent funded by Mike Bloomberg?

If any of the these 13 are your representative in Congress, I'd be asking why.

  1. Andre Carson (D-IN)
  2. Jim Cooper (D-TN)
  3. Joe Courtney (D-CT)
  4. Peter DeFazio (D-OR)
  5. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) (though he was a surprise aye vote)
  6. Brian Higgins (D-NY)
  7. Rick Larsen (D-WA)
  8. Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM)
  9. Tim Ryan (D-OH)
  10. Terri Sewell (D-AL)
  11. Adam Smith (D-WA)
  12. Tim Walz (D-MN)
  13. Gene Green (D-TX)


  1. They voted for it in 2011 because they knew Obama would veto it if it passed the Senate.

  2. I would think that part of the difference with the Democrats is an assumption that Obama would have vetoed and Trump won't.

  3. Pretty plain that they are bowing to pressure from Pelosi/Schumer.