U.S. Senator Mark Pryor of Arkansas, a Democrat, says he would support a Republican planned filibuster of gun control legislation that is expected to reach the Senate floor Thursday.
Though some of his colleagues are negotiating over several compromise bills, Pryor says the current bill from the Senate Judiciary Committee is too broad and it’s not workable. He says the filibuster might extend the process so the legislation can be shaped by more lawmakers.
“We want a full debate, with a full set of Senate amendments, and the ability for senators to offer amendments on this,” said Pryor. “It sounds like now this process in going to spill into next week and by that time we will have the legislation with all the amendments and I’ll have a chance to know all the facts.”
In the past, Pryor has been critical of Republican filibusters and encouraged colleagues to work across the aisle to find solutions for contentious problems.
Pryor says he’s not sure if he would support a new bipartisan deal on background checks for firearm purchases. Arkansas’s senior U.S. senator says he wants to review those proposals to see if they make any sense before he makes a final decision.
As the national political conversation over gay marriage continues, Pryor remains one of only three Democrats in the Senate who do not support marriage equality.
In a press conference Wednesday, Pryor said he opposes same-sex marriage and will vote for policies that uphold the traditional definition of marriage.
“A lot of this will be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court… we will just have to wait and see what they decide before we know the ramifications of their decision,” Pryor said. “It’s very possible that at some point later this year we’ll have to examine [policies that only provide particular benefits to straight couples], but I would rather not speculate on that. I will just wait and see how the Supreme Court decides these cases and see what policy impacts that has on the U.S. Senate and the Congress.”
The other two Senate Democrats who have not expressed support for gay marriage are Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Joe Manchin of West Virginia.