Trump continues weighing Toomey's background check proposal, other options
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Lawmakers are facing increasing pressure to do something about a series of deadly mass shootings across the country when they return to Washington next week. A potential answer from U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) is still being considered by the White House, Toomey’s staff tells WENY News.
Toomey is renewing a proposal he first drafted six years ago: an expansion of background checks on guns on all commercial sales, including purchases online and at gun shows. The Pennsylvania Republican has spoken with President Donald Trump in recent days and regularly over the August recess on the background check issue, according to Toomey’s communications director Steve Kelly.
However, the President hasn’t endorsed one particular bill just yet.
Toomey first introduced the plan in 2013 with U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat, a bill that later became known as “Manchin-Toomey.”
Although Toomey has not formally introduced the bill again during this Congress, he has been trying to gain support for his plan over the last few months.
“It has continued to be a project to persuade more of my colleagues, and more on my side of the aisle,” Toomey said during an April news conference. “To be candid, that’s where the problem is, so that we can at some point get that done.”
But last weekend, the President told reporters he didn’t think expanded background checks would have made a difference in the series of shootings this summer.
This weekend, following the deadly shooting in West Texas, Trump suggested there would be a package of legislation. But he and Senate leaders aren’t offering many specifics about what that could be.
“They have been doing a lot of work,” Trump said of lawmakers. “On behalf of Republicans and Democrats, they’ve been doing a lot of work having to do with guns. I think you’re going to see some interesting things coming along.”
The Republican-controlled Senate is unlikely to consider a stricter gun control package the Democratic-led House of Representatives passed earlier this year.