In a major blow to Obama’s gun control push, the Senate failed to pass S. 649, the Manchin-Toomey bill to expand background checks on gun sales. While the final vote was 56-44 in favor, it fell short of the 60 votes needed to end debate.
Four Republicans — Sens. John McCain of Arizona, Susan Collins of Maine, Mark Kirk of Illinois and amendment author Toomey — broke with the rest of the GOP to support the background check legislation.
Four Democrats — Sens. Max Baucus of Montana, Mark Begich of Alaska, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Mark Pryor of Arkansas — voted against it.
There will be several other votes on related amendments today, but none are expected to pass:
In a climactic day, the Senate planned to hold eight other votes Wednesday besides the one on background checks, all of them amendments to a broad gun control measure.
They included Democratic proposals to ban assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines, which are expected to lose; a Republican proposal requiring states to honor other states’ permits allowing concealed weapons, which faces a close vote; and a GOP substitute for the overall gun measure.
Contrary to assertions by the Democrats, public support for their crusade to gut the Second Amendment appears to be waning:
Perhaps helping explain Democrats’ problems, an AP-GfK poll this month showed that 49 percent of Americans support stricter gun laws. That was down from 58 percent who said so in January — a month after the December killings of 20 children and six aides at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school propelled gun violence into a national issue.
Equally dishonestly, they have claimed broad support for their proposals among law enforcement professionals. Again, however, the truth is somewhat different: