Sen. Susan CollinsSusan CollinsCollins: I'm not working with Freedom Caucus chairman on healthcare Mexico: Recent deportations 'a violation' of US immigration rules White House denies misleading public in aircraft carrier mix-up MORE (Maine) says she will vote in favor of a bipartisan compromise on expanding background checks on gun purchasers, according to a report.
Collins in an interview with NBC News called the measure crafted by Sens. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinPicking 2018 candidates pits McConnell vs. GOP groups Manchin: Trump should make his clothes in West Virginia Sanders supporter to run against red-state Democrat MORE (D-W.Va.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) “reasonable” and said she had reviewed the actual language of the proposal.
Collins told NBC that she would not have backed a proposal for universal background checks and believed the compromise rightly excluded gun transfers between family members.
Collins along with Sen. Mark KirkMark KirkThe way forward on the Iran nuclear deal under President Trump ObamaCare repeal bill would defund Planned Parenthood Leaked ObamaCare bill would defund Planned Parenthood MORE (R-Ill.) are the only Republicans to publicly say they will vote in favor of the deal crafted by Toomey and Manchin.
Toomey last week said he was unsure if he could find the 60 votes to make the deal law.
“I think we got a few voting hurdles and I don’t know how they will turn out,” he said in an interview.
Collins is one of 16 Republicans who voted on Thursday to open debate on a gun control measure in the Senate, helping to overcome threats from some GOP senators to filibuster the measure.
The vote came after Manchin and Toomey reached their bipartisan agreement on expanding background checks to all gun show and internet sales.
Earlier efforts at a deal had faltered and the Senate gun bill included a Democratic proposal from Sen. Charles SchumerCharles SchumerPriebus: I believe the government will stay open So what if banks push fancy cards? Give consumers the steak they want Ted Cruz: Warren could beat Trump in 2020 MORE (D-N.Y.) on the issue, which Republicans said they would block over concerns it could create a federal database of gun owners.
The Manchin-Toomey deal, though, could bring support from centrist Republicans and red state Democrats, bolstering the Senate bill’s chances of passage.
The bill also contains a bipartisan measure to increase penalties on straw traffickers and additional funding for school safety.
Collins also discussed speaking with families of victims of the Newtown shooting last week, a meeting which led her to be late for a White House dinner with President Obama and fellow GOP senators.
“I was willing to make the choice to be late for the president in order to meet with the grieving families,” Collins told NBC.
Victims’ families and gun-control advocates led by the White House have made a public push to rally lawmaker support for the Senate gun violence bill. But it faces a long road, with a lengthy amendment process ahead and Speaker John BoehnerJohn BoehnerLobbyists bounce back under Trump Business groups silent on Trump's Ex-Im nominee Chaffetz won't run for reelection MORE (R-Ohio) declining to commit to a vote on the Senate gun bill.