Ed O’Keefe of The Washington Post follows up on his running whip count for the Senate gun bill:
New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R) will vote against the gun control compromise spearheaded by Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), all but assuring the measure won’t pass.
Ayotte’s office confirmed she will not vote for the amendment, making her what appears to be the 41st vote against it. That means the amendment won’t get to the 60 votes it needs, even as several senators remain undecided.
In related news, Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) will return to the Senate chamber for the gun control votes despite being in poor health. There had been some question about whether he would be able to return if Democrats needed him for the 60th vote.
Thus far, just three Republicans have announced their support for the bill — Toomey and Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.). Several red-state Democrats also remain undecided.
Below is the updated whip count:
Undecided: 6 (Baucus, Begich, Heitkamp, Landrieu, McCain, Pryor)
Whether this will change the voting schedule agreed to last night is unknown. A spokesman for Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) just told me, “The votes this afternoon (nine of them) are set. I don’t know what Sen. [Majority Leader Harry] Reid’s [D-Nev.] plans are after those votes though.”
O’Keefe reported last night that the voting order will be Democratic amendments, Republican amendments, then Manchin-Toomey. However, the official Congressional Record seems to indicate that Manchin-Toomey may come up first, or at least before multiple other amendments. That record does not list eight amendments, and I have had trouble compiling a complete list.
Voting order on these other amendments may allow the majority to somehow resuscitate S.649, the flagship gun control legislation being debated, but without bipartisan compromise on its controversial expanion of background checks, it appears headed to the gallows.