“A proposed rescue plan for the financially strapped U.S. Postal Service took a step forward Thursday when a Senate committee passed a bill that would end Saturday delivery in the future and make permanent a recent, temporary increase in the cost of stamps,” reported the Washington Post last week.
But there was more to the bill than that.
Senator Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, introduced an amendment to the bill which would have ended the five-decades-old prohibition on concealed carry at the post office. The amendment was shot down with North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp joining Tom Carper, DE; Carl Levin, MI; Mark Pryor, AR; Mary Landrieu, LA; Claire McCaskill, MO; Jon Tester, MT; Mark Begich, AK; and Tammy Baldwin, WI; in voting against the bill.
A separate amendment offered by Senator Begich, a Democrat from Alaska, to allow concealed carry in post office parking lots (as long as its otherwise legal under state law) was included as part of the final bill passed out of committee.
Every committee member but Senator Tester voted for that bill.
Senator Heitkamp rose to national prominence early in her first year in office when she voted against gun control legislation proposed in the wake of the New Town, Connecticut, shooting. That earned Heitkamp the wrath of national liberals – including former White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley, who asked for his $2,000 campaign contribution to Heitkamp back, and then-New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg – but praise from her “red state” constituents.
But in lower profile gun control debates, Heitkamp seems to err on the side of more control. She’s voted against Senator Paul’s expansion of concealed carry rights, for a very anti-gun federal judge and was absent in opposing a United Nations gun ban treaty.