Manchin: ‘We will not get the votes’ on gun compromise

April 17, 2013

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) conceded in an interview Wednesday that the gun control compromise he crafted with Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) isn't going to pass in the Senate, but his office later backed off that assertion.

The official NBC News Twitter tweeted the following at about 8 a.m. eastern time.

About 40 minutes later, Manchin's office issued a clarification, saying he will continue to push for the Manchin-Toomey amendment.

“Sen. Manchin remains optimistic and hopeful that if Senators and the American people read the bill, they will support his commonsense approach to require criminal and mental background checks for advertised sales, including purchases at gun shows and online sales, without infringing on Americans’ Second Amendment rights,” Manchin spokesman Jonathan Kott said, adding: "He will continue to explain his bill to his colleagues and anyone with concerns until the minute they vote.”

As we've noted before, the math remains very tough for the gun bill, with basically all remaining undecided senators needing to vote for it, in addition to getting Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), who has been ill in recent weeks and unable to travel, to the Senate chamber.

Amendments to the gun bill require 60 votes, meaning Democrats needed to pick off a number of Republicans in order to pass it. So far, only three -- including Toomey -- have signed on, and several Democrats have wavered as well.

Updated 11:17 a.m.: Toomey also concedes the votes are not there in an interview with the National Review. And Sen. Kelly Ayotte's (R-N.H.) decision to vote against it means there are not enough undecided senators to pass the amendment.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix, the Post’s top political blog.
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Aaron Blake | April 16, 2013