WASHINGTON — The first hurdle cleared with deceptive ease, the Senate turns to the heart of the battle over curbing gun violence next week when it considers a proposal to expand required federal background checks to gun shows and online firearms sales.
In a bipartisan 68-31 vote Thursday, senators rejected an effort by conservatives to block debate on Democrats’ gun control legislation, a measure backed by President Barack Obama. Senators then formally opened debate on the bill, lawmakers’ response to the mass shooting in December at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., and the most ambitious effort to limit gun violence in nearly two decades.
Thursday’s one-sided vote belied what looks to be a difficult path in Congress for gun restrictions. Most Republican senators and many moderate Democrats oppose or are wary of curbs they think go too far, and the view from the GOP-run House is even cooler, where leaders say they want to first see what the Senate does.
“Nothing is going to happen quickly,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said in a brief interview. “We’re going to be on this for a while, and there’s nothing wrong with that.”
Read More at OfficialWire . By Alan Fram.
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