The U.S. Senate on Thursday cut off a filibuster effort on a new gun control bill, a major step in clearing the way for debate on a package of new firearms restrictions.
A group of senators led by Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) had tried to block debate from starting. Their effort was squashed by a final vote of 68 to 31, eight votes more than the 60-vote threshold needed.
Sixteen Republicans joined with 50 Democrats and two independents to let the bill proceed, while 29 Republicans and two Democrats voted to block it.
Speaking after the vote, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) praised Republican Sen. John McCain for his words on Sunday attacking any GOP effort to filibuster the bill.
“The hard work starts now,” Reid said Thursday.
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