Toomey Throws Cold Water On Manchin Prediction That Gun Measure Will Get 60 Votes

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) on Thursday predicted on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that the deal on background checks he reached with Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) will get broad support in the Senate. But Toomey cautioned it’s too early to know.

“Morning Joe” co-host Mika Brzezinski asked the senators, does the bill have 60 votes?

“I think so,” Manchin said. “I think we worked hard, and we’re going to continue to work hard. And Mika, if people will not just take time to read the bill and understand how much this bill clarifies an awful lot of things. But basically it’s just meant to keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them, closing down the gun show loopholes, internet sales. And I saw your piece this morning about the American al Qaeda. I think that says it all. If that doesn’t move people to say, we’ve got to do something at our gun shows and internet sales, where it’s so easy to get these weapons, then I don’t know what they would be for.”

But Toomey cautioned that it’s too early to know whether the bill will clear 60 votes. “I would just add, I think we’ve got a few voting hurdles, and I don’t know how they’re going to turn out,” Toomey said. “I think we will be able to get started on the underlying bill with the vote today, but how the amendments play out, I, I think it’s just too early to know. I do believe, and I’m very grateful to Sen. Manchin for his work on this, but what we focused on is the right part of this equation, which is, can we make it more difficult for dangerous criminals and the dangerously mentally ill to get weapons. That’s where the focus ought to be, and that’s what our, that’s what our legislation makes progress on.”

A vote to begin debate on gun control legislation is expected at 11 a.m. ET Thursday, according to C-SPAN.