Manchin & Toomey

Senate to vote on proceeding to gun control legislation today

by Jonathan Easley, The Hill  |  published on April 11, 2013

The Senate will vote Thursday to begin debate on gun control legislation, an action expected to set off weeks of debate on the floor.

Democrats are confident they have the 60 votes they need to begin the debate after a number of Republicans said they would not support a filibuster backed by conservatives.

Some red-state Democrats up for reelection next year may oppose the motion, but it is expected the motion to proceed to the bill will succeed.

Prospects for clearing the bill from the Senate floor were boosted by a deal on background checks to gun purchases announced Wednesday by Sens. Pat Toomey (R-Penn.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.V.).

The deal gave new momentum to gun control legislation, which had seemed to be in trouble. Supporters have described the background checks provisions as the sweet spot of a gun control bill.

Still, the guns package faces an uncertain path to passage.

Democrats will need to pull at least five Republican senators to their side if the bill is to make it through the upper chamber, and that task appears difficult even if Toomey and Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), a pro-gun control Republican, are on board.

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