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A group of GOP senators, lead by Sens. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeWhatever you think the Alabama special election means, you’re probably wrong How the effort to replace ObamaCare failed Overnight Regulation: Trump temporarily lifts Jones Act for Puerto Rico | Bill would exempt some banks from Dodd-Frank | Senators unveil driverless car bill MORE (Utah), Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulHouse bill set to reignite debate on warrantless surveillance Authorizing military force is necessary, but insufficient GOP feuds with outside group over analysis of tax framework MORE (Ky.) and Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzWhatever you think the Alabama special election means, you’re probably wrong This week: Congress gets ball rolling on tax reform Week ahead: Senators work toward deal to fix ObamaCare markets MORE (Texas), threatened to filibuster any gun control legislation — which creates a 60-vote threshold — because they said it would violate Second Amendment rights.

If there had been any GOP objection to holding the vote on the motion to proceed, the Senate would not have been able to make progress on the bill until Friday afternoon at the earliest.

The Senate bill doesn’t include an assault weapons ban or limits on magazine capacity, though Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidChris Murphy’s profile rises with gun tragedies Republicans are headed for a disappointing end to their year in power Obama's HHS secretary could testify in Menendez trial MORE (D-Nev.) promised a vote on those provisions as amendments.

Democrats have been pushing stricter gun laws since December when a gunman killed 20 first-graders and six school employees at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. Family members of the victims came to Washington this week to push senators to pass new gun control laws. 

The first amendment being considered is a bipartisan deal on background checks from Sens. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinOvernight Energy: EPA aims to work more closely with industry Overnight Finance: Lawmakers grill Equifax chief over hack | Wells Fargo CEO defends bank's progress | Trump jokes Puerto Rico threw budget 'out of whack' | Mortgage tax fight tests industry clout Lawmakers try again on miners’ pension bill MORE (D-W.Va.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.).

Republicans expressed concern that expanding background checks could create a federal registry of gun owners and make it harder for family members to transfer firearms. Lee complained that senators hadn’t been given enough time to read through the Manchin-Toomey plan.

"Yesterday, Sens. Toomey and Manchin announced a new proposal, yet as of this very moment not a single senator has been provided the text of that provision," Lee said. "It’s critical that we all know what’s in the bill before we vote on it. … Proponents of this bill say the people deserve a vote, but don’t they also deserve to know what they’re voting on. I think they do.”

Manchin and Toomey’s deal would expand background checks to cover all sales at gun shows and over the Internet. Those background checks would have to be accompanied by records proving to law enforcement officials they took place. It would exempt gun sales and transfers between friends and acquaintances, and explicitly ban the federal government from creating a national firearms registry.

Manchin called up his amendment for consideration before the Senate adjourned for the weekend.

Another likely amendment will come from Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyRepublicans jockey for position on immigration House clears bill to combat crimes against elderly Grassley: DACA deal wouldn't need border wall funding MORE (R-Iowa), who has said he’d offer his own gun bill as an alternative to the Democratic proposal. Amendments are expected to need 60 votes for passage.