The Senate has rejected a bipartisan proposal to expand background checks on gun sales, handing President Barack Obama and Democratic leaders a major defeat on one of the key pieces of the president’s second-term agenda.
The vote was 54-46, with only four Republicans crossing the aisle and voting with the Democrats in favor of the bipartisan proposal by Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.). Sixty votes were needed.
That’s the first item on Obama’s agenda, shot down. Excuse the metaphor. Looks the White House campaign to throw as much emotion at the issue as possible has failed.
The vote is not close the the 60 needed to proceed to a final floor vote, which would only require 50 votes for passage. That means the legislation is most likely finished.
And don’t let the White House fool you that the bill wasn’t allowed an “up or down vote” – anything that moves in the Senate, except for a few budget bills, needs 60 votes. That goes for legislation backed by Republicans and Democrats. It’s standard operating procedure in the Senate, which operates more on a basis of consensus than the House.