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Tue Apr 16, 2013, 05:42 PM Apr 2013

Background Checks Legislation Short Of 60 Votes In The Senate [View all]

By Agence France-Presse
Tuesday, April 16, 2013 17:08 EDT

The US Senate faces a showdown this week over gun rights, but even supporters of a contentious compromise on background checks conceded Tuesday that they are still short of the necessary votes.

President Barack Obama expressed optimism about the proposed bill and said it would be “unimaginable” if Congress defied strong public support for the measure, especially after the Newtown school massacre in December.

The chamber’s top Democrat Harry Reid insisted they had the momentum in the Senate to pass the legislation, which would expand background checks to all commercial firearms sales, including purchases made at gun shows and online.

A deal was being sought that would allow Reid to call for votes on several proposed amendments to the underlying gun bill, beginning with the background check measure as early as Wednesday, he said.

Supporters would need 60 votes in the 100-member chamber to overcome blocking tactics and ensure final passage. Democrats and independent allies hold 55 seats.



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