Bill to bolster gun background checks gains enough support to break filibuster

Bill to bolster gun background checks gains enough support to break filibuster
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A bill to bolster the national background check system used for gun purchases crossed a critical milestone this week, getting enough support to break a filibuster and pass the Senate. 

Senate Majority Whip John CornynJohn CornynO'Rourke mulling another Senate run as well as presidential bid Texas senator introduces bill to produce coin honoring Bushes On unilateral executive action, Mitch McConnell was right — in 2014 MORE's (R-Texas) office noted on Friday that the legislation picked up six more co-sponsors, bringing the total number of supporters to 62. 
 
The boost in support puts it just over the 60 votes needed to break a filibuster, a key procedural hurdle, and gives it enough support to potentially be passed by the Senate. 
 
Sens. Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleyGOP Green New Deal stunt is a great deal for Democrats The border deal: What made it in, what got left out Lawmakers introduce bill to fund government, prevent shutdown MORE (D-Ore.), Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineDemocrats brush off GOP 'trolling' over Green New Deal Overnight Defense: Trump declares border emergency | .6B in military construction funds to be used for wall | Trump believes Obama would have started war with North Korea | Pentagon delivers aid for Venezuelan migrants Kaine asks Shanahan if military families would be hurt by moving .6B for border wall MORE (D-Va.), Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandSanders campaign reports raising M in less than a day Gillibrand uses Trump Jr. tweet to fundraise Meghan McCain: 'Don't underestimate' Bernie Sanders MORE (D-N.Y.), Deb FischerDebra (Deb) Strobel FischerWhy Democrats are pushing for a new nuclear policy Trade official warns senators of obstacles to quick China deal Sasse’s jabs at Trump spark talk of primary challenger MORE (R-Neb.), Thad CochranWilliam (Thad) Thad CochranTop 5 races to watch in 2019 Bottom Line Races Dems narrowly lost show party needs to return to Howard Dean’s 50 state strategy MORE (R-Miss.) and John BoozmanJohn Nichols BoozmanGOP senators read Pence riot act before shutdown votes On The Money: Shutdown Day 26 | Pelosi calls on Trump to delay State of the Union | Cites 'security concerns' | DHS chief says they can handle security | Waters lays out agenda | Senate rejects effort to block Trump on Russia sanctions Senate rejects effort to block Trump on Russia sanctions MORE (R-Ark.) are the latest senators to formally sign onto the Fix NICS (National Instant Background Check System) Act. 
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The legislation reinforces existing laws by ensuring that authorities report criminal records to the system and penalizing agencies that don't. 

The effort has been championed after multiple mass shootings where the alleged gunmen were able to purchase firearms despite past charges or warnings about their behavior.

Cornyn hinted on Thursday morning that he was close to securing 60 votes for the legislation, which he introduced late last year with Sen. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyCongress closer to forcing Trump’s hand on Saudi support House passes bill to end US support for Saudi war in Yemen This week: Border deal remains elusive as shutdown looms MORE (D-Conn.). 

“I can't tell you how disappointed I am that the United States Senate has done nothing, nothing, to prevent [mass shootings] from happening in the future. We're close to 60 bipartisan co-sponsors," he said from the Senate floor.

Despite having more than 60 votes, it remains unclear when, or if, it will be brought up for a vote. 
 
A scheduling update from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDems think they're beating Trump in emergency declaration battle Sanders: 'Not crazy' about nixing the Senate filibuster McCabe: No one in 'Gang of Eight' objected to FBI probe into Trump MORE (R-Ky.) that outlined what else the chamber will tackle before a two-week recess expected to start on March 23 did not mention the background check legislation. 
 
The gun control debate has largely stalled in the Senate after the Parkland, Fla., high school shooting, where 17 people were killed. 
 
Republicans have signaled they want to pass the Fix NICS Act by unanimous consent — allowing it to skip over a formal vote and potentially days of floor time. 
 
But the bill has run into a stumbling block amid a slate of GOP senators who say they have "due process" concerns. 
 
Democrats, while supportive of the legislation, have also said they believe it is too narrow of a response.