Senators Chambliss, Isakson Both Say They Won't Try to Block Gun Bill Debate

Apr 9, 2013

Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Georgia)
Credit U.S. Senate

Both of Georgia’s U.S. Senators, Republicans Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson, say they now support an up-or-down vote in the Senate on a gun control bill, the details of which are still being finalized.  

Although both Senators say they’ll oppose portions of the underlying bill, their positions in favor of an up-or-down vote contrast with those of a group of other Republican Senators, who have said they will use a filibuster to block the bill if it comes up.  It’s also a step farther than Isakson went Monday, when WABE's Denis O'Hayer asked him whether he would join the move to prevent a vote.

"If there's a filibuster, though, would you support that?" O'Hayer asked.

Isakson replied, "Again, the bill's not even written yet, Denis.  So, you're asking me hypothetical questions I can't really answer."

"Oh, I'm sorry," O'Hayer said.  "I was talking about the technique rather than the legislation.  I mean, is a filibuster..."

"In the Senate, all techniques are possible," Isakson said.  "But again, it depends on what the legislation is."

But Tuesday, while answering questions on the program, “CBS This Morning,” Isakson moved away from the wait-and-see approach—at least when it came to allowing a vote on the Senate floor.

"We have not seen the final draft of the legislation that was produced, I understand, last night," Isakson said.  "But I think it deserves a vote up or down."

In response to a request from WABE News, Isakson’s press secretary, Lauren Culbertson, sent a statement saying:

“Senator Isakson has been thinking a lot about this issue.  That’s why he decided today to support having a debate on the floor on gun control.  He believes a floor debate presents the best opportunity for supporters of the Second Amendment to offer and vote for amendments that will strengthen and protect the Second Amendment rights of Americans.”

In Monday’s interview with WABE News, Isakson said he opposes an assault weapons ban, and limits on the number of rounds in ammunition clips.  But, when it comes to background checks, Isakson said he wants to see specifics before taking a position on those.