Army Times - News - More News: "By Rick Maze
Times staff writer
Senate Republican leaders decided Tuesday that a gun manufacturers’ liability bill is more important than next year’s $441.6 billion defense authorization bill.
With Democrats expressing amazement that there could be any higher legislative priority in a time of war than the annual defense bill that includes money for pay and benefits, operations and maintenance, and weapons’ purchases and research, Sen. Bill Frist of Tennessee, the Senate Republican leader, decided Tuesday that a bill protecting gun manufacturers from lawsuits over the illegal use of firearms was a higher priority.
The decision came after Republican leaders failed to muster the 60 votes needed to prevent amendments not strictly related to the defense budget from being offered to the defense bill.
In a count of 50-48, seven Republicans joined Democrats in voting not to restrict debate, a move that Democratic leaders said would have prevented consideration of amendments to help veterans and survivors of deceased service members, along with other issues."
It is really important to understand that this effort to push back the bill is less about the funding for the war and more about getting more important rich elitist agendas to the floor quickly:
With Congress planning to leave town Friday for one-month break, debate on S 397, Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, is expected to last two or three days, and then Senate leaders plan to take up an energy bill, an estate tax reform bill and an Interior Department funding bill
A hat tip to QWQ, who had this note about Frist's torturous decision to sidetrack this:
Also, several folks have noted in the comments that pandering to the NRA is not the only reason the Republicans wanted to delay the Defense Authorization bill -- the White House also wanted to avoid showdowns on detainee treatment and military base closings. The new AP story has that angle, as does this CBS edited version of the original AP story.
Oh, yeah... The bushies don't want to give up their right to torture innocent Iraqis that are held along with the few terrorists in captivity... Go figure, huh? Apparently the republican controlled Senate doesn't work any better in making us safer than torture does at getting useful intel.