Citing the minimal support for legislation that would ban assault weapons, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said today that he would leave the proposal out of the gun violence bill he'll bring to the Senate floor. Instead, the assault weapons ban will be offered as an amendment to the bill, along with several other less popular ideas.
"I have said time and time again I want people to have the ability to vote on assault weapons, mental health, safety in schools, federal trafficking, clips -- everything," Reid told reporters this afternoon. "But I cannot do that until I get a bill on the floor."
Reid explained that he'll need to find a bill to bring to the Senate floor that has at least 60 votes of support -- enough to bypass a Republican filibuster and start debate. Once debate has started on that bill, the Senate can vote on amendments, such as the assault weapons ban authored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.
Feinstein's legislation passed through the Senate Judiciary Committee last week, but Reid explained today that it wouldn't clear the filibuster hurdle.
"Right now her amendment, using the most optimistic numbers, has less than 40 votes. That's not 60," he said. It's more likely, Reid added, that he would bring to the floor one of the background check proposals currently in the works.
Full Story: Dems shelving assault weapons ban for now - CBS News