The Washington Post

Toomey, Manchin back together on a background checks bill

(Allison Shelley/Getty Images) Sens. Joe Manchin, left, and Pat Toomey are teaming up again. (Allison Shelley/Getty Images)

This week marks one year since Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) formed their unlikely alliance to strengthen background check laws on gun sales.

Manchin was seeking a Republican to team up with after the Sandy Hook school shooting. So he approached border state pal Toomey, and the two drafted a modest proposal that still enraged the National Rifle Association and failed to get enough votes in the Senate, but did earn them a spoof on “Saturday Night Live” with actors Jason Sudeikis and Bill Hader as their stand-ins.

A year later, it was Toomey’s turn to ask for Manchin’s help on background checks — not for guns, but for school employees. The Republican senator has been pushing a bill that would require any school that receives federal funds to perform background checks on all existing and new employees, including contractors. There is currently no national standard.

On Wednesday, the senators penned an editorial in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about their latest joint effort. The legislation was inspired by the 1997 rape and murder of a 12-year-old in West Virginia by a teacher who had been fired from a Pennsylvania school for molesting a student.

Though their shared legislative causes are solemn ones, the two men seem to enjoy their fraternity. Toomey told the Loop: “Joe Manchin is interested in getting things done. This isn’t the first time or the last time we will team up on bipartisan legislation. He is a strong partner in my effort to protect children from sexual and violent predators.”

So, the team’s back together, but don’t look for another SNL parody this time around.

Colby Itkowitz is the lead anchor of the Inspired Life blog. She previously covered the quirks of national politics and the federal government.

The Freddie Gray case

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Campaign 2016 Email Updates

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Get Zika news by email

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!
Comments
Show Comments
Republicans debated Saturday night. The South Carolina GOP primary and the Nevada Democratic caucuses are next on Feb. 20. Get caught up on the race.
The Post's Dan Balz says...
Rarely has the division between Trump and party elites been more apparent. Trump trashed one of the most revered families in Republican politics and made a bet that standing his ground is better than backing down. Drawing boos from the audience, Trump did not flinch. But whether he will be punished or rewarded by voters was the unanswerable question.
GOP candidates react to Justice Scalia's death
Quoted
I don't know how he knows what I said on Univision because he doesn't speak Spanish.
Sen. Marco Rubio, attacking Sen. Ted Cruz in Saturday night's very heated GOP debate in South Carolina. Soon after, Cruz went on a tirade in Spanish.
The Fix asks The State's political reporter where the most important region of the state is.
The State's Andy Shain says he could talk about Charleston, which represents a little bit of everything the state has to offer from evangelicals to libertarians, and where Ted Cruz is raising more money than anywhere else. In a twist, Marco Rubio is drawing strong financial support from more socially conservative Upstate. That said, Donald Trump is bursting all the conventional wisdom in the state. So maybe the better answer to this question is, "Wherever Trump is."
Past South Carolina GOP primary winners
South Carolina polling averages
Donald Trump leads in the first state in the South to vote, where he faces rivals Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.
South Carolina polling averages
The S.C. Democratic primary is Feb. 27. Clinton has a significant lead in the state, whose primary falls one week after the party's Nevada caucuses.
67% 22%
The complicated upcoming voting schedule
Feb. 20

Democrats caucus in Nevada; Republicans hold a primary in South Carolina.

Feb. 23

Republicans caucus in Nevada.

Feb. 27

Democrats hold a primary in South Carolina.

Upcoming debates
Feb 25: GOP debate

on CNN, in Houston, Texas

March 3: GOP debate

on Fox News, in Detroit, Mich.

March 6: Democratic debate

on CNN, in Flint, Mich.

Campaign 2016
Where the race stands
Most Read

politics

in-the-loop

Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Close video player
Now Playing

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.