BREAKING: Schumer calls off gun-control votes

Maybe old dogs can learn new tricks after all. Or maybe Nancy Pelosi finally shared some sage advice with Chuck Schumer about calling for votes on bills that can’t even get all of his own caucus together.

Either way, Schumer’s planned stunt vote on gun control has been postponed on account of math:

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) told colleagues on the Senate floor Wednesday that he will not immediately bring gun-control measures to the floor in the wake of two mass shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde, Texas, because he doesn’t expect them to muster enough Republican votes to pass.

Instead, the Democratic leader said he will wait for Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and other members of his caucus to try to negotiate a bipartisan compromise with Republicans on a measure that has a better chance of securing 60 votes to overcome a filibuster.

“There are some who want this body to quickly vote on sensible gun safety legislation, legislation supported by the vast majority of Americans,” he said. “They want to see this body vote quickly so the American people can know which side each senator is on …. I’m sympathetic to that, and I believe that accountability votes are important.”

But Schumer said he thought that bringing gun-control legislation in the immediate aftermath of Buffalo and Uvalde, where two lone shooters left a total of 31 people dead in the span of 10 days, would be fruitless because of staunch Republican opposition to such reforms.

Schumer was singing a different tune earlier, queuing up some quick floor votes on two long-moribund bills as a way to stick it to Republicans for midterm messaging. What happened? It appears that his own caucus thought better of exploiting the tragedy in Uvalde for cheap political point-scoring. Instead, a handful of them want more time to work across the aisle to see if Congress can actually pass something responsive to the issues at hand.

Kyrsten Sinema in particular seems skeptical that Schumer’s bills were the answer:

It’s not just Manchin and Sinema that want to take more time to mull over the options. Jon Tester said he’d vote to open debate on a bill to expand background checks, but only if Schumer could reach some sort of compromise that would pass:

Manchin’s not happy with the House bill, though, and might not vote to open debate:

Just how would that have affected the Uvalde shooting? The perpetrator bought his weapons legally over the past week, as it turns out. And the report about body armor appears to have been erroneous as well.

With all of this ambiguity and lack of cohesion, Schumer apparently decided that it was better to wait than to conduct a stunt vote that might end up embarrassing him and his caucus. That’s certainly a novel strategy from Schumer in this session. There’s a first time for everything, it appears.

And there might not be a vote at all in this session.