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Democratic Opposition to Biden’s Gas Tax Pitch, but a GOP Victory on Gun Safety

On Capitol Hill, something extraordinary just occurred that many sceptics, including me, believed we would never witness.

A deal was reached. It was also a compromise on one of the most contentious and delicate topics facing the nation: gun control.

In a test vote on a package of modest changes meant to prevent guns from falling into the hands of dangerous people, 14 Republican senators broke with party tradition and the NRA.

That implies that it will overcome any filibuster and unquestionably pass within days.
Both Senators John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) voted to advance the gun control bill.

Of course, it won’t win any courage prizes that it took mass killings in Texas and Buffalo to spur such popularly supported actions, but it’s still a significant turning point given our hyperpolarized political climate.

Another suggestion to temporarily suspend the federal gas tax for three months, made by President Biden, is more difficult to comprehend. That isn’t due to the content—everyone is aware that this is a campaign gimmick that won’t have much of an impact—rather, it is because it is practically likely to fail. “Likely doomed,” said Politico.

Biden remarked in his speech yesterday, “I fully appreciate that the gas tax break alone is not going to fix the problem. “However, it will bring some immediate comfort to families. We’re still striving to permanently lower pricing, so just a little breathing room.” Additionally, he pushed oil firms to raise prices, which is not taking place.


Now, I think that in politics, doing something is always preferable to doing nothing, even though the savings, if any, would be small in an era of petrol prices of $5 per gallon. But if he is unable to enact the legislation, Biden’s remarks yesterday were meaningless.

How does the president’s inability to manage his own party benefit him when he is the target of widespread criticism for his inefficiency? Shouldn’t there already be an agreement in place with Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi?

The Joe Manchin issue has come up once more. Perhaps the Democrats will cooperate to save their leader’s face, but that would be a risky move.

The Senate group followed through with actual legal text rather than press-release pledges after weeks of media excitement and legislative squabbling over guns. Chris Murphy, a Democrat, and John Cornyn, a Republican, deserve the most of the credit.

Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, and Sen. John Cornyn of Texas arrive at the Capitol in Washington on June 15, 2022, for further bipartisan discussions on how to reduce gun violence.

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Murphy, who was a Connecticut congressman at the time of the Sandy Hook massacre ten years ago, has turned this into a personal cause. He told MSNBC that during the previous break, lawmakers heard parents’ fears for the safety of their children, and it affected the mood.

Cornyn, a Republican from Texas who felt compelled to speak out after the Uvalde slaughter there, was recently jeered at a GOP convention. After so many mass shootings, he could have used the customary stalling tactic, but it was a difficult position to take in the Lone Star State.

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