Toomey: We are closer on gun con­trol

Democrats have moved goal posts to the left, Pa. sen­a­tor says, but may ‘set­tle for progress’

The Morning Call - - FRONT PAGE - By Laura Ol­son

U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey says a break­through “might be close” on ex­pand­ing firearm background checks as he con­tin­ues work­ing on a draft pro­posal with other senators and the White House.

“I don’t want to over­state it. We do not have a deal. How­ever, we are en­gaged,” Toomey said Thurs­day morn­ing fol­low­ing a tap­ing of WFMZ-TV’s “Busi­ness Mat­ters” pro­gram. “We’re try­ing to get there. There’s more en­gage­ment now than cer­tainly any time since 2013.”

Toomey’s op­ti­mism on background check leg­is­la­tion comes as Congress is wrap­ping up its Au­gust re­cess to head back to Capi­tol Hill.

Since the mass shoot­ings in Texas and Ohio at the be­gin­ning of Au­gust, Toomey has been speaking reg­u­larly with Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump and sev­eral other senators, in­clud­ing Demo­crat Chris Mur­phy of Con­necti­cut, on ways to re­vise the background check bill that he un­suc­cess­fully pushed in

2013 with West Vir­ginia Sen. Joe Manchin, a Demo­crat.

A new pro­posal “won’t be ex­actly that,” Toomey said, re­fer­ring to the 2013 bill. He noted that Democrats are seek­ing more com­pre­hen­sive changes than what his pre­vi­ous bill called for.

“The Democrats have moved left from where they were, but there are many Democrats that want an out­come. They want to see progress,” he said. “Those Democrats un­der­stand they’re not go­ing to get ev­ery­thing they would like, so we’ll see if they can agree to set­tle for progress.”

Se­nate Ma­jor­ity Leader Mitch McCon­nell has said he’s open to a dis­cus­sion in his cham­ber next month on gun bills. Toomey said Thurs­day he ex­pects “some se­ries of votes” is likely, “but ex­actly what we’re vot­ing on? I think that’s still un­de­fined.”

To get a pro­posal to pass the Repub­li­can-con­trolled Se­nate would re­quire some heavy po­lit­i­cal lifting by the pres­i­dent, who has of­fered vary­ing public re­marks on his in­ter­est in strength­en­ing background check rules.

Toomey said he thinks Trump’s re­marks have been mis­un­der­stood, and that he hasn’t shifted in his open­ness to a gun bill head­ing to his desk.

“There’s noth­ing that the pres­i­dent has said that causes me to think that this is a lost cause,” he said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.