15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton. (AP Photo/Courtesy of Damon Stewart, File)
Updated: May 19, 2013 7:56AM
WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans blocked a series of gun-control measures on Wednesday with an anti-trafficking provision named after Hadiya Pendleton, the Chicago teen shot to death in a park, expected to be sidelined with the rest of the gun bill on Thursday.
Two items of particular interest to the Chicago area — an amendment expanding background checks to close gun show and other loopholes and another amendment cracking down on gun trafficking and fencing, with similar Pendleton language — could not muster the 60 votes needed to advance.
Each of those amendments had a majority, but in the Senate, the 60-vote, supermajority threshold was needed to avoid a filibuster.
President Barack Obama — who could not get the votes Wednesday for legacy legislation — said: “I see this as just round one.” It’s not clear — given that public opinion was on the side of gun-control advocates — when or under what circumstances gets him round two.
Hadiya’s mother, Cleopatra Cowley-Pendleton in reaction told the Sun-Times’ Becky Schlikerman, “It’s just disheartening, these are bills that are being proposed to make our lives safer.”
“Something needs to be done. There should be something on the table instead of nothing. . . . I do pray that the gun trafficking law is passed. Something needs to happen.”
Sen. Mark Kirk broke with most of the Republicans on the gun votes. Kirk and Sen. Dick Durbin were the central crafters of the anti-trafficking language.
Kirk was the only Republican to vote for an assault weapons ban championed by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.). He was one of four Republicans to support expanded background checks in a deal crafted by Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W-Va.).
Kirk, who already had an “F” rating from the National Rifle Association, had little to risk, unlike Toomey and Manchin who had NRA “A” ratings.