Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), whom The Fix has labeled one of the five most important senators in the gun debate, expressed some disappointment with President Obama's proposal on Wednesday.
While he didn't respond to the substance of Obama's plan, Manchin did express regret that the president didn't include his plan for a commission that would look at all the causes of gun violence, not just guns.
Here's his full statement:
“I appreciate the work that went into the President’s recommendations. I have not had a chance to review them yet, because I have been meeting with West Virginians today to discuss school safety and the culture of mass violence that has permeated our society today. I will weigh each recommendation carefully.
“However, I am disappointed that the President did not recommend the creation of the national commission on mass violence that I have proposed. A national commission can build the consensus we need for real action backed not only by gun control advocates, mental health experts and entertainment industry executives but also by law-abiding gun owners who fully understand the history and heritage of firearms in America. Violence destroys the dignity, hopes and lives of millions of Americans, and we have a unique opportunity to stop this epidemic – but only if we can put politics aside and have an honest and effective conversation about what to do about our culture of mass violence.”
Manchin has received an 'A' rating from the NRA and has even shot a gun in a campaign ad, but he has also suggested he would be open to action on gun control.
If he signs on with Obama's plan, it would be a big win for the president.