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DC – GUN POLITICS – Prospects for Trump gun deal grow dimmer (VIDEO)

Prospects for a bipartisan deal on gun control legislation have dimmed significantly as President Trump and Democratic leaders appear to be far apart on the key issue of expanding background checks. Republicans expect Trump to put forward a proposal addressing gun violence later this week, but Democrats predict it is likely to fall far short of what is needed and that they may not vote for it. Democrats are pressing Trump to agree to a gun control bill already approved by the House, but the president has yet to even signal support for a scaled-down background check bill sponsored by Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.). “I don’t think anyone thinks he’s going to endorse the Toomey bill, which is weaker than the House bill,” said a senior Democratic aide, expressing growing doubt on Capitol Hill that Trump will strike a bipartisan deal. As a result, the likelihood that Congress will fail to take action on gun violence a month after a new spate of shootings across the country appears to be growing. Republicans say the political momentum within their party to expand background checks suffered a blow last week when Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke declared, “hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15s, your AK-47s” at Thursday’s primary debate. “This rhetoric undermines and hurts bipartisan efforts to actually make progress on commonsense gun safety efforts, like expanding background checks,” Toomey, who has been at the center of Senate negotiations, warned Friday.  [full article]

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