By Chris Moody & Rachel Rose Hartman | The Ticket
A bipartisan gun control deal by Toomey and Manchin inspired Senate conservatives to drop their filibuster plans, even though many Republicans who allowed the legislation to advance said they were unlikely to vote for its passage in the end. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
The Senate on Wednesday rejected a bipartisan amendment that would have expanded background checks on gun purchases, a blow to advocates calling for more strict firearm laws after the mass shootings in Newtown, Conn., late last year.
The measure, the product of intense negotiations between Pennsylvania Republican Sen. Pat Toomey and West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, would have extended background check requirements on gun owners. It needed 60 votes to pass, but failed 54-46.
Democrats voting against the amendment were Mark Begich of Alaska, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Mark Pryor of Arkansas and Max Baucus of Montana. (Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada switched his vote to no at the end, a procedural tactic that allows him to bring it up for a vote later.) In addition to Toomey, Republicans who supported the amendment were Sens. Mark Kirk of Illinois, Susan Collins of Maine and John McCain of Arizona.
Scores of onlookers filled the Senate gallery to watch the vote. When Vice President Joseph Biden read the final tally and announced the amendment had not passed, Patricia Maisch, who helped disarm the man who shot former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson in 2011, yelled, "Shame on you!" before walking out of the chamber.
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Obama even sends out some elbows in the direction of the republican Senators who stood up and defend our freedom!