- The Washington Times
Wednesday, April 10, 2013

With a Senate gun-control showdown looming, Sens. Joe Manchin and Pat Toomey have reached a deal on background checks for firearm purchases, NBC News reported Wednesday morning.

Mr. Manchin, West Virginia Democrat, and Mr. Toomey, Pennsylvania Republican, both have “A” ratings from the National Rifle Association, potentially giving the the deal the kind of political weight needed to achieve a bipartisan vote capable of overcoming a filibuster.

The details of the package aren’t yet clear and will be announced later on Wednesday, according to NBC.

The agreement comes as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid sets a Senate vote on gun-control measures for Thursday. It will be first such vote in either chamber of Congress since the December massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

While Mr. Toomey, a first-term senator and former Club For Growth president, has reached across the aisle on guns, other Republicans are plotting a different course. A number of senators, including Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, may filibuster any gun-control measures. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has also indicated he may be join the filibuster.

Democrats and some Republicans oppose such a strategy.

SEE ALSO: Law enforcement says gun restrictions are ineffective: Survey

“I think it’s disgraceful for anyone to say we’re going to filibuster a gun bill,” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, New York Democrat, said during an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Wednesday morning.

At least nine Republican senators have signaled they’ll vote with Democrats to bring the bill to the floor, though it’s unclear whether all Democrats will support the package.

• Ben Wolfgang can be reached at bwolfgang@washingtontimes.com.

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