Fate of Manchin-Toomey background check proposal hinges on Trump, lawmaker says

- Februari 26, 2018

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) said Monday the fate of a bipartisan bill to expand background checks on gun sales that repeatedly failed to pass through the Senate is now in the hands of President Donald Trump.

Manchin expressed an openness to revive the proposal, which would expand firearm background checks to include online sales and gun shows, but said the proposal would need backing from the White House to gain traction in Congress.

“We’re not going to bring it back unless the president signs on,” Manchin said during a radio interview with West Virginia's MetroNews. “I think it’s imperative that he has to get on board with what he feels he’s comfortable with."

Manchin said he had discussed the proposal over the past week with Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), whom he co-sponsored the measure with in 2013, and that they hoped to take it up with the president this week.

“We’ll have a chance to talk. He wants to talk," Manchin said of Trump. The West Virginia senator called their proposal “the most vetted bill that has been out there” on background checks.

After a gunman used an AR-15-style rifle to kill 17 students and staffers and injure numerous other at a Florida high school this month, Trump expressed support for strengthening background checks on gun sales. The president wrote on Twitter that he will be "strongly pushing Comprehensive Background Checks," but has yet to unveil specific details on how to go about boost the screening process.

The White House, during a series of listening sessions with students, educators and government officials, has floated ideas ranging from arming more teachers and augmenting mental health screening — but a clear set of proposals has yet to emerge.

Toomey told NBC News on Sunday that his proposal with Manchin, which failed to muster sufficient support in the Senate in 2013 and 2015, could get renewed consideration in light of the latest congressional push to respond to a deadly mass shooting.

"I certainly hope we can succeed with another run at it," Toomey said on "Meet the Press."


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