Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Pat Toomey, R-Pa., architects of the much buzzed about bipartisan background check amendment, said they're "close" to having the votes for it, but need more, on Sunday's "Face the Nation." The Senate should take up debate on the overall bill and their amendment this week, and Toomey predicted there will be a vote on their amendment by Wednesday or Thursday. USA Today rounds up where the votes currently are for their amendment, and United Press International, Talking Points Memo, International Business Times and The Los Angeles Times break down the vote situation, too.
The Hill summarized what's in the amendment, which attempts to close the so-called "gun show loophole" lambasted by supporters of gun control. The bill would require background checks for guns sold at gun shows and over the internet, while including provisions that allow for family transfers of guns. Manchin and Toomey repeated the idea that if you're a gun owner, you're going to like their bill because it also includes provisions to protect gun owners. Read more about that from Associated Press.
The road to not just supporting legislation like this, but writing it, was a long and somewhat unexpected one for Manchin, and The Los Angeles Times describes his journey to doing just that despite knowing his A rating from the National Rifle Association "might be considered crucial to the survival of a Democrat from a conservative, rural state like West Virginia." A major gun rights group, The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, now supports the Manchin-Toomey amendment the duo explained on our show, reports Politico.
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., also appeared on the show and touched on the gun question but wouldn't answer what he planned to do when the gun control debate hit the Senate floor. Previously he'd voted to filibuster the debate on guns, but he told Schieffer Sunday he hopes we can get into "an open amendment process," and have a debate not just on guns but "about violence in America." He said, "Everyone is focused on what people are using to commit the violence, I don't think there's nearly enough focus on the violence, which is the fundamental problem." He argued that background checks wouldn't deter criminals from getting guns, because criminals don't operate within the legal system. Huffington Post looks at that line of reasoning. The Hill has background on the earlier filibuster threat, including how a Republican senator's appearance on "Face the Nation" 'broke the dam' and helped shift the winds in the gun control debate.
Rubio's main purpose for coming on the show though was to discuss immigration. He's a member of the so-called Gang of Eight, a bipartisan group of eight senators working on comprehensive immigration reform. Last weekend Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said the group was hopeful they'd put out their plan before the end of the week. Rubio, a week later, said about the same thing. Read The Washington Post for more on his hopes in regards to the unveiling.
In regards to the content of the bill, he appeared optimistic it would "answer all of the questions that people raise" about immigration reform. The Atlantic Wire explains that. Read more about Rubio's appearance and what might be in the bill from the Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.
Rubio touched on another major issue occupying Washington and world leaders alike, that of North Korea's intensifying threats of war. He said the Obama administration was so far handling the situation well and that he was encouraged by Secretary of State John Kerry's recent trip to China. The Boston Globe elaborates on why Rubio and so many politicians and experts see China as the key to addressing the North Korean situation. Rubio also called the government in North Korea a "criminal syndicate," which Politico picked up.