As he did after the Sandy Hook shooting that took the lives of 20 elementary school childen in 2012, Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., emerged quickly as the pivotal pointman on gun legislation soon after the shooting tragedies in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio this weekend.
But in offering his signature legislation requiring background checks on the sale of all guns, Toomey made clear he was opposed to the calling back the Senate from its August recess for a vote on gun measures — something Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., have strongly called for.
"We need Manchin-Toomey," Toomey declared in a conference Monday afternoon, signaling to reporters he would offer the same legislation he and Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., championed six years ago that would "extend background checks to all commercial sales — gun show or Internet – and thus diminish the risk of someone who shouldn't have guns having them."
When last voted on in the Senate on April 17, 2013, Manchin-Toomey needed 60 votes to break a filibuster but lost by a vote of 54-46.
In opposing the Senate being called back from its August recess to vote on gun control legislation, Toomey explained "I don't think we'd accomplish anything if we did."
"It might end up being counterproductive," he added.
"Manchin-Toomey is a logical place to begin. This isn't going to happen tomorrow. If we force a vote tomorrow, then the vote will probably fail, and we'll set back this whole effort."
The Keystone State senator went on to say, "If you want a successful outcome, which is what I want, I think you work toward developing a coalition and a consensus, so you get the successful outcome."
Toomey spoke to reporters after separate telephone conversations in the morning with President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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