"Where there's a will, there's a way".
Although the filibuster is seemingly a tough obstacle, the Boston Globe published an article a couple of day ago that explains that there are some creative ways to get what you want in the senate.
Approval of the $1.9 trillion economic recovery package, which delivered billions in stimulus payments and takes a big bite out of child poverty, was a major achievement.
But the left is increasingly concerned that climate change, gun control, immigration, and voting rights legislation will go nowhere in the Senate, where the filibuster effectively requires a 60-vote majority to get most substantive bills passed.
The signal victory of the early Biden era — passage of the economic rescue package — came by way of a parliamentary procedure known as reconciliation that allows senators to approve budget-related legislation with a simple majority.
Weeks after House Democrats sent their plea to Schumer, word leaked out that the majority leader was weighing reconciliation as a vehicle for the sort of sweeping immigration reform that has eluded Congress for decades.
Lawmakers are also discussing a reconciliation-friendly tax-and-credit scheme that would force a dramatic increase in the production of clean energy — and take the country a long way toward meeting its obligations under the Paris climate accord.
And with a little creativity, one can imagine similar legislation in the realms of election reform and gun control.
If a system of financial rewards and penalties could work to curb greenhouse gas emissions, why stop there? What about a carrot-and-stick regime designed to, say, ratchet down the production of assault weapons?
"I spoke with Adam Skaggs, chief counsel and policy director for the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, the group founded by former Arizona representative Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot a decade ago."
He says the gun control movement, like so many others, is taking a hard look at the reconciliation process.
“Clearly, there are limits to what can be done,” he says. But Democrats haven’t even come close to comprehensively testing them, he says. “So I think, in light of the obstruction on this issue, and frankly so many others, by the Republican minority and the Republican leadership, it’s time to start testing those boundaries in a much more strategic, comprehensive, robust manner.”
Skaggs points out that Congress once withheld highway funds from states that refused to raise the drinking age to 21. He said he could imagine a similar effort on guns. Lawmakers could leverage, say, federal funding for local law enforcement to push states into raising the age for assault weapon purchases or requiring background checks for private gun sales.
The most successful gun control regime in the nation’s history, arguably, is one that tightly regulates machine guns and short-barreled rifles and shotguns and imposes a $200 tax on transfers of the weapons.