The Senate will consider amendments to comprehensive gun safety bill on Wednesday, but Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) — a co-sponsor of a bipartisan measure to expand background checks to gun shows and online sales — is telling reporters that the provision is unlikely to attract the 60 votes it needs for passage. From NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell and Chuck Todd:
Sen. Joe Manchin tells me “we will not get the votes today” expanded background checks to fail in Senate. Try again he says.
— Kelly O’Donnell (@KellyO) April 17, 2013
Manchin is telling folks privately, his amendment with Toomey is going down
— Chuck Todd (@chucktodd) April 17, 2013
During an appearance on Morning Joe, Manchin directly accused the National Rifle Association of lying for telling members that the amendment would “criminalize the private transfer of firearms by private citizens.” “It is a lie!” Manchin said, noting that his measure specifically exempts sales between private individuals from screenings. Watch it:
Expanding background checks is supported by over 90 percent of Americans and has been the subject of intense lobbying from Newtown families. But on Tuesday, a group of Republican senators who were considered swing votes on the issue announced that they would vote against it, despite Manchin’s efforts to modify the bill to address their concerns.