From a Tuesday news conference with Sens. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) and Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.).

Rep. McCarthy: I will not go into that conference with a negative feeling. I'm going in there to fight for the amendment. And then, if it doesn't come that way, then we'll certainly fight for what we think is right. . . . They are hell-bent to defeat the gun-show loophole closing, a killer amendment. Watch their language. Watch their action. Listen to their words and find out who has predetermined the outcome of the conference, whether it is the Republican leadership of the House and Senate or in the broadest possible way whether it is the rank and file of Democrats and Republicans in this institution.

Sen. Schumer: And one other thing . . . for those of us who have been around for a while, we know the smell of this thing.

Sen. Lautenberg: When you've been snookered, you know it.

Sen. Schumer: Yeah. . . . I have no doubt that that's their feeling, and if they were unwilling to buck the NRA, the House Republican leadership, on the floor, then they're going to be unwilling to buck it in conference. We are going to try our best, as everybody said here, but we're going to have to do it with their opposition. And if we can't succeed in conference, there are other things that we can do . . . But we don't . . . consider if we don't get this in conference that the fight's over at all.

Rep. McCarthy: No way.