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Bipartisan deal on background checks: Biggest gun control win yet?

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The next step is a vote on Thursday to break a Republican filibuster blocking debate on the broader package of gun-control bills. If Senate majority leader Harry Reid (D) of Nevada can rally 60 votes, as seems likely, the Senate would then proceed to debating and amending the legislation. At that time, Senator Manchin said his compromise bill with Senator Toomey would be offered as the first amendment of many to be put to a vote.

Sen. Mark Kirk (R) of Illinois is already a supporter of the legislation, but Toomey said it was too early to tell how many other Republicans would follow his lead. There could be many, given the respect within the Republican caucus for the conservative senator from the Keystone State.

Precisely because of that, the deal was a bold move by Toomey, who is now risking the wrath of the powerful NRA as well as conservatives within his state to do what he says is "common sense."

“What also became apparent to me in the course of this debate, [is] there was the danger that we might end up accomplishing nothing, and not making progress where we could,” Toomey said at a packed Capitol Hill press conference on Wednesday.

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