Manchin-Toomey background-check bill inching closer to 60 votes in the Senate

Manchin-Toomey background-check bill inching closer to 60 votes in the Senate

A bipartisan bill on background checks is inching closer to the necessary 60 votes for passage, but it still has a long way to go.

The upcoming vote on a new proposal crafted by Sens. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinThis week: Kavanaugh nomination thrown into further chaos GOP plays defense on ObamaCare’s pre-existing conditions Doug Jones to McConnell: Don't 'plow right through' with Kavanaugh MORE (D-W.Va.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) is expected to go down to the wire. The Hill on Friday contacted many Senate offices to find out their positions on the amendment, which is strongly opposed by the National Rifle Association (NRA).

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There are now four Republicans who have publicly committed to supporting the amendment: Sens. Toomey, Mark KirkMark Steven KirkThis week: Trump heads to Capitol Hill Trump attending Senate GOP lunch Tuesday High stakes as Trump heads to Hill MORE (Ill.), Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsGOP confidence grows on Kavanaugh GOP divide in Congress over Rosenstein's future Senate panel schedules Friday morning vote for Kavanaugh MORE (Maine) and John McCainJohn Sidney McCainUpcoming Kavanaugh hearing: Truth or consequences How the Trump tax law passed: Dealing with a health care hangover Kavanaugh’s fate rests with Sen. Collins MORE (Ariz.).

There are a dozen other Republicans who voted for a motion to proceed on the gun control bill last week, including Sens. Kelly AyotteKelly Ann AyotteGOP mulls having outside counsel question Kavanaugh, Ford Pallbearers, speakers announced for McCain's DC memorial service and Capitol ceremony Tributes pour in for John McCain MORE (N.H.), Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeGOP confidence grows on Kavanaugh Senate panel schedules Friday morning vote for Kavanaugh Senate eyes Kavanaugh floor vote next week MORE (Ariz.), Saxby ChamblissClarence (Saxby) Saxby ChamblissA hard look at America after 9/11 Lobbying World Former GOP senator: Let Dems engage on healthcare bill MORE (Ga.), Johnny IsaksonJohn (Johnny) Hardy IsaksonSenate eyes Kavanaugh floor vote next week Trump blasts Tester at Montana rally: 'He loves the swamp' Renaming Senate office building after McCain sparks GOP backlash MORE (Ga.), Roger WickerRoger Frederick WickerGoogle says it continues to allow apps to access Gmail user data Trump cancels Mississippi rally due to hurricane Cruz gets help from Senate GOP in face of serious challenge from O’Rourke MORE (Miss.) and Dean HellerDean Arthur HellerOvernight Health Care: GOP plays defense over pre-existing conditions | Groups furious over new Trump immigration proposal | Public health advocates decry funding transfer over migrant children GOP plays defense on ObamaCare’s pre-existing conditions Heller embraces Trump in risky attempt to survive in November MORE (Nev.).

Flake on Friday was reviewing the bill, while Heller's office said the senator "will not support any plan that creates a federal gun registry." Corker "would not support Toomey-Manchin as written but is open to supporting amendments to achieve what he believes is the central issue: preventing violence by dangerous, mentally ill people," according to a Monday statement from his office. Chambliss has made it clear that he opposes the underlying gun control bill that is headed to the Senate floor. Wicker said on C-SPAN Monday morning that he is opposed to the Manchin-Toomey amendment.


To pass Manchin-Toomey, at least five Republicans must back it. Fifty-five senators caucus with the Democrats, but not all are sure bets to embrace the background check legislation.

Sens. Mark PryorMark Lunsford PryorMedicaid rollback looms for GOP senators in 2020 Cotton pitches anti-Democrat message to SC delegation Ex-Sen. Kay Hagan joins lobby firm MORE (D-Ark.) and Mark BegichMark Peter BegichElection Countdown: Trump plans ambitious travel schedule for midterms | Republicans blast strategy for keeping House | Poll shows Menendez race tightening | Cook Report shifts Duncan Hunter's seat after indictment The Hill's Morning Report — Trump’s legal jeopardy mounts after Manafort, Cohen felony counts Dunleavy, Begich win party nods in 3-way race for Alaska governor MORE (D-Alaska) last week voted against the motion to proceed to the gun control debate. Both are up for reelection next year and support gun rights.

Centrist Democrats who are expected to vote for Manchin-Toomey are Sens. Bob CaseyRobert (Bob) Patrick CaseyMalnutrition Awareness Week spotlights the importance of national nutrition programs Poll: Democrats hold big leads in Pennsylvania Senate, governor races The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by United Against Nuclear Iran — Kavanaugh, accuser say they’re prepared to testify MORE Jr. (Pa.), Kay HaganKay Ruthven Hagan2020 Dems compete for top campaign operatives Senate GOP rejects Trump’s call to go big on gun legislation Politics is purple in North Carolina MORE (N.C.), Tim JohnsonTimothy (Tim) Peter JohnsonSenate GOP rejects Trump’s call to go big on gun legislation Court ruling could be game changer for Dems in Nevada Bank lobbyists counting down to Shelby’s exit MORE (S.D.), Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyThis week: Kavanaugh nomination thrown into further chaos Doug Jones to McConnell: Don't 'plow right through' with Kavanaugh The Memo: Tide turns on Kavanaugh MORE (Ind.), Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillOvernight Health Care: Bill banning 'gag clauses' on drugs heads to Trump's desk | Romney opposes Utah Medicaid expansion | GOP candidate under fire over ad on pre-existing conditions GOP Senate candidate says he supports pre-existing conditions while backing lawsuit to end them Disclosures suggest rebates and insurers responsible for rising out-of-pocket drug costs MORE (Mo.) and Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerSenate panel eyes vote on parks funding bills after key deadline Key House Dem's objections stall intel bill as deadline looms Russia docs order sets Trump on collision with intel community MORE (Va.).

But Democrats who declined to comment or didn't say definitively where they stand on Manchin-Toomey include Sens. Max BaucusMax Sieben BaucusOvernight Defense: McCain honored in Capitol ceremony | Mattis extends border deployment | Trump to embark on four-country trip after midterms Congress gives McCain the highest honor Judge boots Green Party from Montana ballot in boost to Tester MORE (Mont.), Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampCramer questions if allegations should disqualify Kavanaugh ‘even if it’s all true’ Heitkamp highlights anti-human trafficking bill in new ad Midterm polling data favors Democrats — in moderation MORE (N.D.) and Mary LandrieuMary Loretta LandrieuLobbying world Former New Orleans mayor: It's not my 'intention' to run for president Dems grasp for way to stop Trump's Supreme Court pick MORE (La.). Baucus and Landrieu are seeking reelection in 2014 and are top GOP targets.

Meanwhile, some Republicans who broke ranks to proceed to the gun control bill are opposed to Manchin-Toomey, such as Sens. Tom CoburnThomas (Tom) Allen CoburnCongress must use bipartisan oversight as the gold standard John McCain was a taxpayer hero The White House can — and should — bypass Congress to kill Obama-era spending MORE (Okla.), Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGOP divide in Congress over Rosenstein's future Sanders: Kavanaugh accusers 'have risked their lives to come forward' Rosenstein fiasco raises the stakes in midterms for DOJ’s future MORE (S.C.), Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderDems push back on using federal funds to arm teachers Overnight Health Care: GOP plays defense over pre-existing conditions | Groups furious over new Trump immigration proposal | Public health advocates decry funding transfer over migrant children Overnight Health Care: Senators target surprise medical bills | Group looks to allow Medicaid funds for substance abuse programs | FDA launches anti-vaping campaign for teens MORE (Tenn.), Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrHillicon Valley: State officials share tech privacy concerns with Sessions | Senator says election security bill won't pass before midterms | Instagram co-founders leave Facebook | Google chief to meet GOP lawmakers over bias claims Overnight Energy — Sponsored by the National Biodiesel Board — Texas coal plant to shut down | Macron rejects trade deals with climate pact outsiders | Vote on park funding bills to miss deadline Senate panel eyes vote on parks funding bills after key deadline MORE (N.C.) and John HoevenJohn Henry HoevenOvernight Energy: Trump Cabinet officials head west | Zinke says California fires are not 'a debate about climate change' | Perry tours North Dakota coal mine | EPA chief meets industry leaders in Iowa to discuss ethanol mandate 74 protesters charged at Capitol in protest of Kavanaugh Big Oil’s carbon capture tax credit betrayal MORE (N.D.).

Isakson said on MSNBC last week it is "doubtful" he will back Manchin-Toomey. Graham told the Huffington Post he is "not a big fan of background checks."

Coburn is planning to offer his own background check amendment, which could alter the political dynamics of the debate by giving on-the-fence Republicans a chance to vote for some type of background check bill.

During a Sunday appearance on CNN's "State of the Union," McCain said he is "favorably disposed" to Manchin-Toomey. On the same show, Toomey stopped short of predicting victory, saying, "I think it's going to be close." McCain's backing could have an effect on Flake, the undecided freshman senator from Arizona.

Collins told NBC News Sunday she believes the Manchin-Toomey plan, which is backed by President Obama, is "reasonable."

Sen. Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerBredesen says he won't back Schumer for Senate Dem leader Trump, GOP regain edge in Kavanaugh battle READ: President Trump’s exclusive interview with Hill.TV MORE (D-N.Y.) on ABC's "This Week" noted that not all the Republicans who voted to debate gun control will vote "yes" on Manchin-Toomey, adding it will be a "tough fight" to get to 60 votes. Schumer has called background checks the "sweet spot" of gun control.

During an interview on "Fox News Sunday," Senate Majority Whip Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinKavanaugh’s fate rests with Sen. Collins Amnesty International calls to halt Kavanaugh nomination Fox's Chris Wallace: All 10 Democratic Senate Judiciary members again declined interview invitations MORE (D-Ill.) said he has not yet whipped Manchin-Toomey.

If Manchin-Toomey falters, it would be a huge win for the NRA and a major setback for Obama. Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.) will introduce a companion bill to Manchin-Toomey in the GOP-led House, but its chances of getting to the president's desk are remote if the Senate rejects it.

Obama has also called for Congress to pass an assault-weapons ban, but that bill has no chance of passing the House and Senate.

—Noura Alfadi-Andreasson and Alex Lazar contributed to this article, which was last updated at 12:10 p.m.