Free speech amendment wins approval from US Senate


— Sen. Patrick Henry spoke Monday to the Senate about the upcoming showdown between the Obama administration and the Republican-led House over the Affordable Care Act.

Henry told the Senate Judiciary Committee that the amendment to the USA Patriot Act would help prevent future mass shootings.

The amendment, introduced Monday by Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), would amend the act to prohibit a person convicted of a federal crime from obtaining firearms.

Corker said the amendment will be on the House’s agenda when it returns from recess on Wednesday.

If passed, the amendment would have to be signed by President Barack Obama to become law.

The House is expected to pass the amendment Wednesday, after the Senate votes on it on Thursday.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and House Judiciary Committee ranking member Bob Goodlatte (R) both said Monday that they support the amendment.

Corkar said the Senate should not be involved in the legislative process in any way and it should not interfere with a president’s ability to make an emergency decision about the future of a law.

“There’s no constitutional basis for the Senate to be involved at all,” Corker said.

“That’s why I’m calling for a simple vote, and that’s why it’s called an emergency motion.”

Corkers amendment would add language to the bill to prohibit individuals convicted of felonies from purchasing firearms.

This would allow people convicted of misdemeanors, which are typically for minor offenses, to be barred from purchasing guns.

Carson, the first black senator, is also a sponsor of the amendment and said it would protect people of color from being denied guns because of their criminal history.