Friday, January 25, 2013

Manchin On The Hill

To my surprise, WV Dem Sen. Joe Manchin is doing a lot more than just playing ball on universal background checks for firearms sales:  he's co-sponsoring the bill in the Senate.

Sens. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) are collaborating on legislation to expand requirements on background checks to purchase firearms.

"We are working together to find an amenable background-check proposal," a Kirk staffer told The Hill on Thursday afternoon.

Proposals to increase background checks are widely popular with the public, according to polls, and are the least controversial of a number of gun-control measures proposed by President Obama. But gun-control legislation has gotten off to a rocky start because of resistance from Republicans and some red-state Democrats.

Kirk and Manchin, close friends who represent states that normally elect members from their opposite parties, could be crucial to any gun-control debate. Kirk has long backed an assault-weapons ban and is one of the most pro-gun control Republican senators. Manchin, a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association, has also emerged as a key player in the current gun-control debate. He's called for a wide-ranging discussion on how to cut down on gun violence, including new firearm restrictions, and on Thursday morning came out in favor of increased background checks.

Could we actually be seeing reasonable, actual, bipartisan legislation as intended?  Don't get your hopes up.  Republicans will still look to block the measure in the Senate, and I doubt any gun control measures will again, even get a vote in the House.  It's a definite way for Kirk and Manchin to get bipartisan cred without anything actually having to happen.

We'll see where this bill goes.

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