Manchin-Toomey background-check bill inching closer to 60 votes in the Senate

Manchin-Toomey background-check bill inching closer to 60 votes in the Senate

A bipartisan bill on background checks is inching closer to the necessary 60 votes for passage, but it still has a long way to go.

The upcoming vote on a new proposal crafted by Sens. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinOvernight Cybersecurity: Dems split on Manning decision | Assange looking to make deal What we learned from Rick Perry's confirmation hearing Manning commutation sparks Democratic criticism MORE (D-W.Va.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) is expected to go down to the wire. The Hill on Friday contacted many Senate offices to find out their positions on the amendment, which is strongly opposed by the National Rifle Association (NRA).

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There are now four Republicans who have publicly committed to supporting the amendment: Sens. Toomey, Mark KirkMark KirkGOP senator: Don't link Planned Parenthood to ObamaCare repeal Republicans add three to Banking Committee Juan Williams: McConnell won big by blocking Obama MORE (Ill.), Susan CollinsSusan CollinsGOP rep faces testy crowd at constituent meeting over ObamaCare DeVos vows to be advocate for 'great' public schools GOP senators introducing ObamaCare replacement Monday MORE (Maine) and John McCainJohn McCainSenate committee to vote Monday on Tillerson Trump fails to mention Clinton in inaugural address Hillary Clinton under microscope at inauguration MORE (Ariz.).

There are a dozen other Republicans who voted for a motion to proceed on the gun control bill last week, including Sens. Kelly AyotteKelly AyotteTen rumored Trump Cabinet picks who didn't get a job Sasse, Perdue join Armed Services Committee Avid pilot among GOP senators joining Transportation committee MORE (N.H.), Jeff FlakeJeff FlakeLive coverage of Trump's inauguration Under Trump, the disruptors return to Washington (that's a good thing) 9 GOP senators Trump must watch out for MORE (Ariz.), Saxby ChamblissSaxby ChamblissWyden hammers CIA chief over Senate spying Cruz is a liability Inside Paul Ryan’s brain trust MORE (Ga.), Johnny IsaksonJohnny IsaksonTrump, Democrats can bridge divide to make college more affordable Trump picks Obama nominee for VA secretary Five races to watch in 2017 MORE (Ga.), Roger WickerRoger WickerSenate gears up for battle over Trump's CIA pick Five takeaways from Chao’s confirmation hearing Overnight Tech: Tech listens for clues at Sessions hearing | EU weighs expanding privacy rule | Senators blast Backpage execs MORE (Miss.) and Dean HellerDean HellerMnuchin weathers stormy confirmation hearing Live coverage: Senators grill Trump's Treasury pick Five things to watch for in Mnuchin hearing MORE (Nev.).

Flake on Friday was reviewing the bill, while Heller's office said the senator "will not support any plan that creates a federal gun registry." Corker "would not support Toomey-Manchin as written but is open to supporting amendments to achieve what he believes is the central issue: preventing violence by dangerous, mentally ill people," according to a Monday statement from his office. Chambliss has made it clear that he opposes the underlying gun control bill that is headed to the Senate floor. Wicker said on C-SPAN Monday morning that he is opposed to the Manchin-Toomey amendment.


To pass Manchin-Toomey, at least five Republicans must back it. Fifty-five senators caucus with the Democrats, but not all are sure bets to embrace the background check legislation.

Sens. Mark PryorMark PryorCotton pitches anti-Democrat message to SC delegation Ex-Sen. Kay Hagan joins lobby firm Top Democrats are no advocates for DC statehood MORE (D-Ark.) and Mark BegichMark BegichThe future of the Arctic 2016’s battle for the Senate: A shifting map Trump campaign left out of Alaska voter guide MORE (D-Alaska) last week voted against the motion to proceed to the gun control debate. Both are up for reelection next year and support gun rights.

Centrist Democrats who are expected to vote for Manchin-Toomey are Sens. Bob CaseyBob CaseyLive coverage: Senators grill Trump's Treasury pick Live coverage: Tom Price's confirmation hearing Senate Democrats brace for Trump era MORE Jr. (Pa.), Kay HaganKay Hagan Former Sen. Kay Hagan in ICU after being rushed to hospital GOP senator floats retiring over gridlock 2016’s battle for the Senate: A shifting map MORE (N.C.), Tim JohnsonTim JohnsonCourt ruling could be game changer for Dems in Nevada Bank lobbyists counting down to Shelby’s exit Former GOP senator endorses Clinton after Orlando shooting MORE (S.D.), Joe DonnellyJoe DonnellySenators introduce dueling miners bills Government to begin calling Indiana residents Hoosiers Pence meets with Kaine, Manchin amid Capitol Hill visit MORE (Ind.), Claire McCaskillClaire McCaskillDem senator: Violent inauguration protesters ‘disgusting’ Five things to watch for in Mnuchin hearing Senators introduce dueling miners bills MORE (Mo.) and Mark WarnerMark WarnerGOP, Dems hear different things from Trump Decaying DC bridge puts spotlight on Trump plan Overnight Cybersecurity: Dems split on Manning decision | Assange looking to make deal MORE (Va.).

But Democrats who declined to comment or didn't say definitively where they stand on Manchin-Toomey include Sens. Max BaucusMax BaucusFive reasons why Tillerson is likely to get through Business groups express support for Branstad nomination The mysterious sealed opioid report fuels speculation MORE (Mont.), Heidi HeitkampHeidi HeitkampSenate Democrats brace for Trump era Senators introduce dueling miners bills A small business executive order: Justification for regulation MORE (N.D.) and Mary LandrieuMary LandrieuFive unanswered questions after Trump's upset victory Pavlich: O’Keefe a true journalist Trump’s implosion could cost GOP in Louisiana Senate race MORE (La.). Baucus and Landrieu are seeking reelection in 2014 and are top GOP targets.

Meanwhile, some Republicans who broke ranks to proceed to the gun control bill are opposed to Manchin-Toomey, such as Sens. Tom CoburnTom CoburnCoburn: Trump's tweets aren't presidential The road ahead for America’s highways Rethinking taxation MORE (Okla.), Lindsey GrahamLindsey GrahamThe Hill's 12:30 Report Graham: Trump would make mistake in not punishing Russia Graham to vote for Trump’s EPA pick MORE (S.C.), Lamar AlexanderLamar AlexanderCheney calls for DeVos to be confirmed ‘promptly’ With Trump pick Tom Price, cool heads can prevail on health reform Senate to vote Friday on Trump's defense picks MORE (Tenn.), Richard BurrRichard BurrSenators introduce dueling miners bills Trump education pick to face Warren, Sanders Senate Intel panel to probe Trump team's ties to Russia MORE (N.C.) and John HoevenJohn HoevenFive regulations that could come in Obama's final days ND senator calls for remaining Dakota Access protesters to leave Senate GOP to Obama: Stop issuing new rules MORE (N.D.).

Isakson said on MSNBC last week it is "doubtful" he will back Manchin-Toomey. Graham told the Huffington Post he is "not a big fan of background checks."

Coburn is planning to offer his own background check amendment, which could alter the political dynamics of the debate by giving on-the-fence Republicans a chance to vote for some type of background check bill.

During a Sunday appearance on CNN's "State of the Union," McCain said he is "favorably disposed" to Manchin-Toomey. On the same show, Toomey stopped short of predicting victory, saying, "I think it's going to be close." McCain's backing could have an effect on Flake, the undecided freshman senator from Arizona.

Collins told NBC News Sunday she believes the Manchin-Toomey plan, which is backed by President Obama, is "reasonable."

Sen. Charles SchumerCharles SchumerThe Hill's 12:30 Report Why Democrats fear a successful inaugural address from Trump CBO: 18 million could lose coverage after ObamaCare repeal MORE (D-N.Y.) on ABC's "This Week" noted that not all the Republicans who voted to debate gun control will vote "yes" on Manchin-Toomey, adding it will be a "tough fight" to get to 60 votes. Schumer has called background checks the "sweet spot" of gun control.

During an interview on "Fox News Sunday," Senate Majority Whip Dick DurbinDick DurbinJustice requires higher standard than Sessions Warren burns Mnuchin over failure to disclose assets Trump Treasury pick to defend foreclosure record MORE (D-Ill.) said he has not yet whipped Manchin-Toomey.

If Manchin-Toomey falters, it would be a huge win for the NRA and a major setback for Obama. Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.) will introduce a companion bill to Manchin-Toomey in the GOP-led House, but its chances of getting to the president's desk are remote if the Senate rejects it.

Obama has also called for Congress to pass an assault-weapons ban, but that bill has no chance of passing the House and Senate.

—Noura Alfadi-Andreasson and Alex Lazar contributed to this article, which was last updated at 12:10 p.m.