Senate Democrats are trying desperately to round up a bipartisan coalition in advance of a critical round of gun-control votes Wednesday afternoon, as fence-sitting Republicans began to peel away and new polling showed ebbing public support for tightening gun laws.
After days of backroom wrangling, Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid lined up a vote on nine amendments for late Wednesday. The first, on a compromise proposal to loosen the firearms bill’s background checks provision, is considered the most vital.
The proposal, rolled out by Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Pat Toomey, R-Pa., would expand background checks to gun shows and Internet sales while exempting personal transactions. The amendment is aimed at winning over reluctant conservatives — if it fails, the overall bill stands little chance of passing.
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