I spoke to McClatchy‘s Dave Catanese about the the bipartisan gun safety package and decision of Senate GOP leadership to pursue and ultimately support such a deal.
“[John] Cornyn and McConnell are both realists and I think they went into this eyes open, with no illusions about how popular this might be with the base,” said Liam Donovan, a former Republican Senate campaign operative turned Washington lobbyist. “They’ve made a good faith effort to address the problem in common sense ways that voters broadly support.”
Donovan surmised that even though the loudest voices on the right are angered, the GOP leader sees a political upside.
He now has another significant vote in his pocket that he can hold up when Democrats complain the filibuster needs to be broken or amended to accomplish a legislative goal.
“Base blowback is a sunk cost having pursued a deal,” said Donovan. “You have to balance the prospect of a divisive vote with the fact that this is their last best chance to take the issue off the table for the foreseeable future, and on relatively favorable terms.”
Read the full piece here.