Senate politics: Immigration reform and gun laws
April 23, 2013
Last week was an interesting one in the U.S. Senate. A bi-partisan "Gang of Eight" unveiled their long-awaited bill to overhaul the nation's immigration system. Debate over the legislation began in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Friday in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings which some political observers say could fuel the anti-immigration effort. Also last week, on what President Obama called "a shameful day for Washington," the Senate defeated a bipartisan measure to expand background checks on gun purchases. Despite overwhelming support by the American public, the bill failed to achieve the 60 votes needed to pass. Four Republicans supported the bill and four Democrats voted against it. In this hour of Radio Times we'll talk about these two major pieces of legislation given the current state of affairs in the U.S. Congress. We'll start off talking with USA Today immigration reporter ALAN GOMEZ about the proposed details of the proposed immigration bill and what the chances are for its passage. Then we'll talk to Rutgers University political scientist ROSS BAKER about why and how the law to expand background checks failed in a Democrat-controlled U.S. Senate.