Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) on Wednesday privately conceded to a reporter that he fears his background check proposal will not earn enough votes to pass in the Senate.
NBC reporter Kelly O’Donnell tweeted Wednesday that Manchin told her “we will not get the votes today.”
Manchin and Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) crafted a bipartisan compromise to expand background checks to gun shows and online sales, but the measure is struggling to find the 60 votes needed in the face of gun lobby opposition.
A statement from Manchin’s office, however, said the senator “remains optimistic and hopeful that if Senators and the American people read the bill, they will support his commonsense approach to require criminal and mental background checks for advertised sales, including purchases at gun shows and online sales, without infringing on Americans’ Second Amendment rights.”
“So far Senator Manchin has managed to garner support from an A-rated NRA member and three Republican Senators as well as 90 percent of his own party. With a record like that, I see no reason to bet against Senator Manchin today. He will continue to explain his bill to his colleagues and anyone with concerns until the minute they vote,” said spokesman Jonathan Kott.
In an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Manchin expressed anger at the National Rifle Association (NRA), accusing the gun lobby of lying about his bill to muster opposition.