Biden, GOP aide: Senate getting very close to 60 votes needed for gun control legislation

Vince Coglianese Editorial Director
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Update, 7:46 p.m.: The Senate is now scheduled to vote on Wednesday at 4 p.m. on the amendment to expand background checks and close the so-called gun-show loophole.

Read the original story below:

Vice President Joe Biden said Tuesday that Democrats — and a handful of Republicans — are just two votes away from having the 60 votes needed to pass a new round of gun-control legislation.

“VP Biden said on his way out that the Senate is just two votes short on the gun bill,” Yahoo! News reporter Chris Moody tweeted. “Biden on guns:’Working to get to 60 & it’s fluid. I think we’re there, but…not unusual for people to make up their minds at…last minute’,” Moody wrote.

Senate Republicans are watching the whip count closely as well, with one Senate Republican leadership aide telling The Daily Caller that the vote count is “close” and that Biden’s claim of 58 is “my sense [too].”

The Washington Post and Huffington Post reported Tuesday that just 52 senators are prepared to support an expanded gun-control amendment to the Senate bill, co-authored by Sens. Joe Manchin and Pat Toomey.

Sen. John McCain is reportedly “favorably disposed” to voting for the amendment, according to a reported statement from his spokesman, Brian Rogers. The Huffington Post reported on Tuesday that six Democratic senators were undecided on the amendment, including Sens. Max Baucus, Heidi Heitkamp, Mary Landrieu, Mark Pryor, Mark Begich and Joe Donnelly.

Three Republicans have joined the majority of Democrats in supporting the amendment, with Sens. Mark Kirk, Susan Collins and Pat Toomey crossing party lines.

No Democrats have publicly declared opposition to the Manchin-Toomey amendment as of Tuesday afternoon.

A vote on the amendment is expected by Thursday at the earliest, according to the Senate Republican leadership aide.

Meanwhile, the Washington Free Beacon reported Tuesday afternoon that Republican Sens. Chuck Grassley, Ted Cruz, Lindsey Graham, John Thune, Kelly Ayotte, and John Hoeven have drafted an amendment to replace the Manchin-Toomey compromise and emphasize greater enforcement of existing background check laws.

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