Gun Laws & Legislation

Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin Breaks With Party On Gun Control, ‘Doesn’t Support’ House Measures


Brandon Gillespie Media Reporter
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MSNBC reporter Leigh Ann Caldwell said during Tuesday’s broadcast of “MTP Daily” that Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin “doesn’t support” the gun control legislation recently passed by the House of Representatives.

Caldwell explained Manchin’s position while responding to a question from guest host Kasie Hunt about moderate Democrats’ stance on gun control legislation. Monday’s shooting in Boulder, Colorado, has reignited the debate over gun control. (RELATED: Rep. Hudson Calls Out Misleading Gun Control Bills)

“Where do you think these two people, Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, stand, and what are the dynamics on the Hill around this as we sit here covering yet another mass shooting?” Hunt asked Caldwell.

Caldwell responded by noting that the H.R. 8 and H.R. 1446, which passed the House on March 11, have not yet been brought to the Senate. “Senator Manchin just told reporters in the past 30 minutes that he doesn’t support the House bills,” she added, before noting the challenge of getting Senate Democrats to support and pass legislation. She did not mention Democratic Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema in her response.

Caldwell said Manchin worked with Republican Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey on two occasions to pass background check legislation but that’s as far as Manchin will go on gun control.

“Democratic leader Schumer has said he plans, regardless of where Republicans stand, regardless of where Senator Manchin stands, he’s going to bring the two House bills … up for a vote on the Senate floor to see where people stand … So that is not an exercise to get them to the president’s desk. It’s an exercise in getting people on the record,” she concluded.

On Tuesday, President Joe Biden called on Congress to pass H.R. 8 and H.R. 1446, in addition to the banning of “assault weapons” and high-capacity magazines.

If signed into law, H.R. 8 and H.R. 1446 would mandate universal background checks on all gun purchases and would extend the length of time that a background check can be completed, among other things. The bills will need to reach the 60 vote filibuster-proof threshold in the Senate in order to pass. With the current Senate at a 50-50 split, 10 Republicans would need to join all Democrats to pass the bills. Without Manchin, that number becomes 11.