Toomey: Background checks aren't happening "any time soon"

“It’s a pretty heavy lift to get five senators to change their mind," Toomey said

By Jillian Rayfield

Published May 1, 2013 7:11PM (EDT)

Sen. Pat Toomey says that he doesn't think the Senate will take up his gun background checks measure any time in the near future. “It’s a pretty heavy lift to get five senators to change their mind on a big issue like this,” Toomey told a group of Digital First Media editors at the Times Herald. “It’s not likely to happen any time soon. I hope people will reconsider over time.”

The measure, which Toomey, R-Penn., introduced with Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., was five votes short of the 60 needed to break a Republican filibuster of the bill.

Though a few Democrats also voted against the bill, Toomey blamed the measure's failure on the politicization of the Republican Party. “In the end it didn’t pass because we’re so politicized," he said. "There were some on my side who did not want to be seen helping the president do something he wanted to get done, just because the president wanted to do it."


Jillian Rayfield

Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at

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Background Checks Joe Manchin Pat Toomey Pennsylvania U.s. Senate