Lawmakers from both parties, including some of the Democrats' strongest gun-control advocates, are planning to meet with President Donald Trump Wednesday about responses to the Florida school massacre.
Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), chief sponsors of a narrow Trump-backed bill designed to improve the existing background-check system for guns, are both expected to attend, according to their offices. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), chief author of legislation banning assault weapons and other control bills, is also planning to be there, as is Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), who crafted a background-check expansion plan with Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.).
Background checks could pass “if the president wants to support it," Manchin said in an interview. "So I’m going to work on that."
Trump's meeting with lawmakers comes as House and Senate Republicans continue to struggle with the political challenges of passing even the small-bore background-checks bill that the president is supporting. Democrats in the Senate are signaling that they may block passage of the narrow gun bill without time to consider more significant gun control measures, and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) is also standing in the way of the bill's quick passage.
In the House, conservatives are chafing at the prospect of decoupling the background-checks bill from an expansion of concealed-carry limits for gun owners, a top priority of the National Rifle Association.
Burgess Everett contributed to this report.