President Obama will not get his vote on gun control in the Senate on Wednesday. Or, at least, not on a package of bills that could pass. The Manchin-Toomey compromise that was meant to save the package did not work, said one of its sponsors.
The compromise would have expanded the background check system to include sales at gun shows and many private sales, was meant to replace a much-stricter proposal from Senator Chuck Schumer of New York which faces strong opposition from Republicans. Crafted by Senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, it quickly became apparent that the compromise would face an uphill climb, despite efforts to further refine it. Late yesterday, when Alaska's Lisa Murkowski came out against the idea, it became apparent that at least 40 senators would oppose ending the Republican-led filibuster on the amendment. Meaning: No actual "up or down" vote, as proponents have sought — including the president, during his State of the Union speech.
According to the tally we've been keeping, there are 43 Senators who are either declared no votes or likely to vote no and just 53 on the yes side.
Data from various sources.
This morning, Manchin conceded defeat.
Sen. Joe Manchin tells me "we will not get the votes today" expanded background checks to fail in Senate. Try again he says.— Kelly O'Donnell (@KellyO) April 17, 2013
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid spoke from the Senate floor shortly afterward, arguing strongly in support of the measure. Some opponents, like Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, have argued that the background check expansion would create a national gun registry. Holding up the bill and noting where it excludes that possibility, Reid address that directly. "Claims that this bill would create a gun registry," he said, "is nothing but shameful scare tactics."