Senator Joe Manchin doesn’t believe his expanded background checks bill will pass in the Senate and seems to blame the National Rifle Association for “lying” about the proposed amendment.
“We will not get the votes today,” Manchin told NBC News. His proposed gun control bill, the Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act, seeks to expand background checks, especially applying them to online and gun show sales.
It is a bipartisan effort at gun control between the Democratic Manchin and Republican Senator Pat Toomey, and, with growing GOP support, the background checks bill might be the best shot the nation has at some sort of common sense gun control legislation.
Still, the NRA seems dead-set on destroying the bill, at least according to Manchin. Votes on gun legislation in the Senate will begin at 4 pm on Wednesday, and, thus far, the Manchin/Toomey bill has 52 yes votes, 40 no votes, and eight undecided.
A Wednesday statement from Manchin’s office seemed to show some optimism for the background check bill’s chances.
“Senator Manchin remains optimistic and hopeful that if Senators and the American people read the bill, they will support his commonsense approach to require criminal and mental background checks for advertised sales, including purchases at gun shows and online sales, without infringing on Americans’ Second Amendment rights,” a Manchin spokesperson said in the statement.
“So far Senator Manchin has managed to garner support from an A-rated NRA member and three Republican Senators as well as 90 percent of his own party. With a record like that, I see no reason to bet against Senator Manchin today. He will continue to explain his bill to his colleagues and anyone with concerns until the minute they vote.”
But on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Manchin seemed to hold the NRA primarily responsible for his present difficulties.
“Now when when they are so disingenuous and telling members that our legislation, and I quote, ‘would criminalize the firearms by honest citizens,'” he said. “This bill does not even touch …”
“That’s a lie,” host Scarborough interjected.
“It is a lie, Joe,” Manchin agreed. “If they lose credibility, they’ve lost everything in Washington.”
Manchin is himself an NRA member with an “A rating.”