After an amendment proposing expanded background checks for gun sales was rejected by the Senate Wednesday, it has been revealed 42 of the 45 senators who voted against the proposal have received donations from pro-shooting groups.
Wednesday saw the Senate reject the Manchin-Toomey amendment, with only 54 senators voting for the measure. That was four short of the 60 votes required for the amendment to move forward through the Senate.
45 senators voted against the amendment, including five Democrats. President Barack Obama called the result a “shameful day for Washington,” while congresswoman Gabby Gifford wrote in a New York Times op-ed:
“These senators made their decision based on political fear and on cold calculations about the money of special interests like the National Rifle Association, which in the last election cycle spent around $25 million on contributions, lobbying and outside spending.”
According to a new analysis by The Guardian and The Sunlight Foundation, all but three of the 45 senators who voted “no” to the Manchin-Toomey amendment have received money from firearms lobbyists. Some, such as Indiana Republican Dan Coats, confirmed donations from pro-gun groups as recently as three weeks ago.
The Guardian‘s analysis also notes the National Rifle Association (NRA) has given $800,000 to 40 of the “no” senators since 1990. Most of that sum was provided in the run-up to the 2012 election.
The flow of gun money has slowed since the election was decided in November 2012, but some senators have continued to receive donations in 2013. Safari Club International, a pro-hunting organisation, provided $1,000 to Senator Coats on March 29.
The Gun Owners of America and National Association for Gun Rights, two groups that politically lie to the right of the NRA, gave $9,000 and $5,000 respectively to Republican Ted Cruz, a leading voice amongst the opposition to the amendment.
The NRA has seen a dramatic increase in donations since the Newtown shootings, with files showing it received $2.7m in cash during January and February 2013. Further details of the group’s donations to politicians in the House of Representatives will be released Saturday.
You can view the full breakdown of The Guardian and The Sunlight Foundation’s findings here.