Dick Durbin: ‘We haven’t whipped’ Manchin-Toomey gun compromise

The Senate's second-ranking Democrat said Sunday he hasn't done a vote count to judge whether there will be enough votes to pass the bipartisan compromise to expand gun sale background checks that Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) reached last week.

Sen. Dick Durbin (AP Photo/Chicago Sun-Times, Brian Jackson) Sen. Dick Durbin (AP Photo/Chicago Sun-Times, Brian Jackson)

"We haven't whipped it," Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said on "Fox News Sunday." "I can tell you this, when it gets down to it, we've got to ask the basic question: Should we try to keep guns out of the hands of felons and people so mentally unstable, they shouldn't own a firearm? If the answer is yes, Manchin-Toomey is a step in that direction."

Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) didn't say whether or not there would be enough votes to block the measure, but sounded skeptical of the proposal.

"If Manchin-Toomey were the law of the land today, none of the four of the most recent mass tragedies involving gun violence would have been prevented," Cornyn said on the same program.

Toomey said he expects a close vote this week on the measure.

"I think it's an open question as to whether or not we have the votes. I think it's going to be close," Toomey said on CNN's "State of The Union."

Added Manchin on the same program: "If you're a law abiding gun owner, you're going to like this bill."

Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said it will be a tough fight to pass the Manchin-Toomey measure.

"Not all the Republicans who voted to allow debate are going to vote with us on background checks. So it's going to be a tough fight to even get the 60 votes we need for the Manchin-Toomey proposal," Schumer said on ABC News's "This Week With George Stephanopoulos."

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said he was leaning toward supporting the measure. "I want to look at it, but I am very favorably disposed," McCain said on "State of The Union."

As the gun debate ramps up this week, former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who nearly lost her life when a gunman shot her in the head in 2011, will be in the nation's capital, her husband Mark Kelly said Sunday.

"She’s looking forward to being in Washington next week. We’re going to be on Capitol Hill. We’re also going to be there to honor one of her former colleagues, Gabe Zimmerman, who has a room in the Capitol Visitor Center being named after him," Kelly said on CBS News's "Face he Nation." "So, you know, she’ll be meeting with her former colleagues, and we're going to be continuing to push for this expanded background check bill, and hopefully we'll get it through the Senate and over to the House."

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.



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Sean Sullivan · April 14, 2013

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