Two of our congressional delegates are experiencing opposite fates today with separate legislation that they took leadership roles in promoting.
Republican Sen. John Thune’s bill to allow gun owners to carry concealed weapons across state lines failed by two votes this morning in the Senate. Thune was the sponsor of the bill and, according to some, stands to benefit from it even in defeat because it solidified his reputation among conservatives and put another feather in his cap for a potential 2012 presidential campaign. Still, the bill came up short.
Here’s some of what Thune said about the vote today in a news release:
"Today, overheated rhetoric and fearmongering overcame common sense. My amendment would allow responsible firearms owners to protect themselves while obeying the firearms laws of the states they visit. The individual right to self-defense should not end at the state line. Despite today’s defeat, this amendment had bipartisan support and I hope the Senate will reconsider this important issue in the future."
Meanwhile, the House voted to reinstate a "pay-as-you-go" law that requires tax cuts or new benefit programs to be paid for with tax increases or cuts to other programs. Democratic Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin has been a vocal supporter of "pay-go" and is co-chair for administration of the Blue Dog Coalition, a group of House Democrats that describes itself as fiscally conservative and counts pay-go as one of its top priorities.
Here’s some of what Herseth Sandlin said about the pay-go vote today in a news release:
"Since the day I arrived in Congress, I’ve worked to bring back the pay-as-you-go rules that helped to produce our country’s budget surpluses in the 1990s. Unfortunately, these tough rules were abandoned during the Bush Administration and the result was record spending and exploding deficits. Today’s vote brings us one step closer to restoring our nation’s fiscal health and protecting our children and grandchildren from having to foot the bill for our debt."
Both Thune and Herseth Sandlin are running for re-election in 2010.