NATIONAL HARBOR, MD - MARCH 15: U.S. Senate Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivers remarks during the second day of the 40th annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) March 15, 2013 in National Harbor, Maryland. The American conservative Union held its annual conference in the suburb of Washington, DC, to rally conservatives and generate ideas. Credit: Getty Images
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Monday became one of at least 14 Republicans to join the filibuster effort, initiated by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), aimed at blocking gun control legislation. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is expected to bring up the bill this week.
"Sen. McConnell opposes the Reid bill," McConnell spokesman Don Stewart said in a statement. "While nobody knows yet what Sen. Reid's plan is for the gun bill, if he chooses to file cloture on the motion to proceed to the Reid bill, Sen. McConnell will oppose cloture on proceeding to that bill."
Joining Kentucky Sens. Paul and McConnell are Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Mike Lee (R-Utah), James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Mike Enzi (R-Wy.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Jerry Moran (R-Kans.), Pat Roberts (R-Kans.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Dan Coats (R-Ind.) and Mike Crapo and James Risch of Idaho.
The Huffington Post reports that there are now 15 GOP senators supporting the filibuster, however, TheBlaze could only identify 14 based on reports.
Not joining in the effort are Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. During an appearance on CBS's "Face the Nation" on Sunday, McCain said he was confused by his colleagues' filibuster plan.
"I don't understand it. The purpose of the United States Senate is to debate and to vote and to let the people know where we stand," McCain said. "I would not only encourage it, I don't understand it. What are we afraid of?"
In explaining why he intends to filibuster a proposed gun control bill, Paul said he fears Democrats will attempt to load the bill up with additional gun control measures, like Sen. Dianne Feinstein's (D-Calif.) ban on so-called "assault weapons."
"We won't let them bring it forward because our fear is that once it comes forward, they'll come forward with something that sounds benign in the beginning but we already have the Feinstein Amendment that talks about banning certain types of guns. That is inconsistent with the Second Amendment," Paul said in a recent Fox News interview.
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