The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Politics

March 30, 2013

Five questions about Maryland's gun-control bill

(Continued)

On Thursday, O'Malley sent a letter to supporters with the subject line "It's time," noting that it had been 100 days since Newtown. The message urged Marylanders to call delegates and urge passage of his bill.

If the votes aren't there to weaken O'Malley's assault-weapons ban, it is unlikely that leaders of the Judiciary Committee will risk a public vote, which could expose supportive Democrats to challenges on the left in next year's primary.

Although that scenario seems most likely, there also remains a possibility of a public fight among Democrats over the ban. If that happens, it is also possible a majority of the Judiciary could vote to weaken the ban but still be outmaneuvered.

The decision by the speaker of the House of Delegates, Michael Busch, D-Anne Arundel, to co-assign the governor's bill to two committees means it could be advanced to the full House over the objections of a majority in either committee, as long as a majority of the two combined go along. Politically, that's a strong-arm tactic that the House speaker's office has seemed keen to avoid.

2. How will the House and Senate compromise on mental health?

House lawmakers appear likely to agree with the Senate on a tough, new restriction similar to one in Virginia that bans gun purchases by residents who are committed against their will for psychiatric treatment for any length of time.

Unlike the Senate, however, members of the HGO appear unwilling to go in the same direction regarding patients who voluntarily seek inpatient treatment.

Last month, the Senate went even further than O'Malley's measure when it recommended banning guns from those who end up in emergency rooms with mental problems and are then taken directly to mental-health facilities, regardless of whether they go voluntarily.

Text Only
Politics
  • With 1 week to go, Sanford subject of attacks

    CHARLESTON, S.C. — Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford can’t seem to escape attacks on the extramarital affair that derailed his political career, which he hopes to revive in a special congressional election that is now a week away.

    May 1, 2013

  • Bombing shifts Mass. Senate race before primaries

    BOSTON — Even before the explosions, polling suggested that Massachusetts voters weren’t excited about the looming special election to replace former U.S. Sen. John Kerry.

    April 28, 2013

  • In a first, black voter turnout rate passes whites

    WASHINGTON — America’s blacks voted at a higher rate than other minority groups in 2012 and by most measures surpassed the white turnout for the first time, reflecting a deeply polarized presidential election in which blacks strongly supported Barack Obama while many whites stayed home.

    April 28, 2013

  • Senate Democrats put off vote on Labor nominee

    WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats have delayed a confirmation vote on Labor Secretary-nominee Thomas Perez after Republicans threatened to use a separate hearing to criticize his handling of a whistleblower case.

    April 24, 2013

  • Sen. Baucus' decision to retire sets stage for majorlegislative changes

     Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., one of the most influential congressional figures of his era, announced his intention Tuesday to retire, a move that could produce sweeping changes in the political and legislative landscape over the next two years.

    April 24, 2013

  • Senate friendship born of tragedy beat partisanship

    These days, most dispatches from Washington focus on petty partisanship, posturing, impasses and a political culture that rewards confrontation.

    April 22, 2013

  • Rubio rising

    If Marco Rubio helps pass comprehensive immigration reform, he will have accomplished more as a senator than Barack Obama did.

    April 22, 2013

  • Gun Bill's Failure May Help Immigration Legislation

    WASHINGTON — Here's an odd political reality: The collapse of the gun bill in the Senate last week may well make the passage of immigration reform legislation slightly easier.

    April 21, 2013

  • Senate Planning Vote on Internet Sales Tax

    WASHINGTON — The days of tax-free online shopping could finally be numbered.

    April 21, 2013

  • Advocates of Immigration Reform Fight Back Against Push for Delay

    WASHINGTON — The Senate's leading supporters of overhauling the nation's immigration system sought Sunday to blunt a conservative effort to slow the pace of debate over their bill, saying the Boston Marathon bombings are a reason to move quickly to make changes.

    April 21, 2013

Featured Ads
Politics Video