Joe Manchin says he’s working with NRA on background check proposal

January 24, 2013

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WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED:

*  Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) says he is working with the National Rifle Association on legislation that would impose new background checks on gun sales,  with some exceptions. The move is significant, considering Manchin's standing as a staunch gun rights advocate. Meanwhile, Democratic lawmakers formally reintroduced a measure that would ban military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines on Thursday. The legislation is a much more far-reaching proposal than the previous federal ban, which expired in 2004.

* Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) kept up his jabbing of Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D), who is exploring a run for his seat. “He’s got a lot of work to do -- a lot of work that should have been done and hasn’t been done," Lautenberg said of Booker. The 89-year-old senator described Newark a “city in desperate need of attention."

* Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley (D) all but ruled out a run for governor in 2014, saying she is focused on getting reelected to her current post. Meanwhile, state campaign finance regulators have asked Coakley's office to conduct a criminal probe of Lt. Gov. Tim Murray (D) after concluding Murray ran afoul of the law. Murray surprised many observers with his recent announcement that he would not run for governor in 2014.

* Coakley and state Treasurer Steve Grossman (D) endorsed the Senate candidacy of Rep. Ed Markey (D), who Senate Democrats' campaign arm is behind in the all-but-certain special election to replace Sen. John Kerry (D), President Obama's secretary of state nominee. Kerry, who is virtual lock for confirmation, appeared before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Thursday.

* Obama nominated former federal prosecutor Mary Jo White as chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission and renominated Richard Cordray for a full term as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

WHAT YOU SHOULDN'T MISS:

* Vice President Biden encouraged participants Thursday in a Google “fireside hangout” to reach out to their members of Congress on the issue of gun control, and offered a bit of somewhat surprising advice, saying that "a shotgun will keep you a lot safer" than "an assault weapon" after a natural disaster. Biden was responding a to question about Americans who see assault weapons as "the last line of defense" after something like a California earthquake. "It is harder to use an assault weapon to hit something than it is with a shotgun," Biden added.

* Mitt Romney is headed to Washington on Friday for a reception in honor of him and his wife.

* Former Colorado Republican congressman Tom Tancredo willl make good on a promise to smoke marijuana if Colorado legalized it -- which voters did at the polls last November.

* California Republican strategist Rob Stutzman and chef Jonathan Wheeler filed a class-action lawsuit against Lance Armstrong and his publishers. The reason? They say Armstrong, who recently admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs, deceived readers in a 2001 book.

THE FIX MIX:

Your Move, Rob Dyrdek...

With Aaron Blake

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.
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Chris Cillizza · January 24, 2013