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Tipsheet

Manchin Ruins Democratic Hopes for Strict Gun Control

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Calls for more gun control in the wake of the mass shooting in Buffalo, N.Y., won’t just face GOP obstruction—Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), is again standing in the way of Democrats pushing through their progressive agenda.

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The Manchin-Toomey proposal, which expands background checks, is the only bill the stands a chance, the senator said, so there’s no point crafting even more broad legislation.

“I support the Manchin-Toomey, I’ve always done that,” he said of the proposal, which failed in 2013 and 2015. “The Manchin-Toomey is the one. I think if you can’t get that one, then why try to do something just for basically voting for the sake of voting?”  

He called the bill “the best piece of legislation that we’ve ever had, that most people agreed on,” claiming it “didn’t infringe on anyone’s rights privately.”

Some Senate Democrats think the Manchin-Toomey proposal doesn’t go far enough, however.

“I’ve never signed on. It needs to be made stronger. But I haven’t even heard that it’s in the works anyway,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), the chairman of Judiciary’s Constitution Subcommittee, who held hearings last year on proposals to reduce gun violence.  

“I don’t know what Manchin-Toomey is at this point. It is a shapeshifting, kind of vague proposal without any specifics,” he said.  (The Hill)

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Renewed talk of the Manchin-Toomey proposal comes as President Biden called for action on gun control.

“I know tragedy will come again. It cannot be forever overcome. It cannot be fully understood either. But there are certain things we can do. We can keep assault weapons off our streets,” Biden said while visiting Buffalo.

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