There may be a bipartisan measure on background checks on the table after all.
The gun control issue heads to the Senate floor this week, with a bipartisan deal that has, according to the Washington Post, been designed by Democrat Joe Manchin and Republican Pat Toomey. The addition of Toomey came about after weeks of negotiations between Manchin and other GOP senators stalled, and the measure has several provisions in it to address the “key Republican concerns” over the proposed background checks. The bill is expected to require almost universal background checks, with only a few exceptions.
Newser highlights the major points for the week:
What’s in store this week? President Obama and his team are starting an aggressive pro-gun-control push today with a speech by the president in Connecticut; Joe Biden and Michelle Obama also have events planned this week, and any deal Manchin and Toomey come up with is expected to be announced tomorrow or Wednesday.
Will there be a decision this week? Harry Reid will likely be quick to include that deal in the bill, which already includes plans to expand background checks, increase federal funding for school security, and make gun trafficking a federal crime. But Republicans could use procedural rules to delay the process—and thus any decision—into next week (at least 13 are already planning a filibuster).
What about other gun control changes? Other potential amendments to the main bill, like bans on assault weapons or high-capacity magazines, are considered unlikely to pass, but expanded background checks enjoy wide public support.
Just how many bills are there? At least three different bills address background checks, and Democrats must decide which one to advance, Politico reports: Manchin’s, which does not require expanded background checks for private sales; Tom Coburn’s, which calls for universal background checks with quite a few exemptions; and Chuck Schumer’s, the most expansive bill, which is only backed by Democrats and would likely be defeated.