The Conversation

Manchin: Gabby Giffords Is Our Whip on Gun Bill

The Senate could vote as early as tomorrow on the Toomey-Manchin gun control bill. Reports indicate the Democrats do not have the 60 votes they need to pass the bill.

Former Rep. Gabby Giffords was on the Hill today along with her husband Mark Kelly.  

“She’s our whip,” said Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), who along with Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) crafted the deal to extend background checks on commercial gun sales and close the so-called “gun show loophole.”

Gifford and Kelly were there to lobby (or whip) for extended background checks.

Kelly could be heard pressing Republican Sen. Jeff Flake, a fellow Arizona lawmaker who drove from Phoenix to Tuscon to be at Giffords’ bedside after she was shot. Flake has said he will oppose the Manchin-Toomey proposal. “Without a doubt, this bill saves lives,” Kelly said to Flake, a close friend.

Harry Reid is still hopeful the bill will pass: “I think there’s significant momentum,” Reid told reporters on Tuesday afternoon. “Now, am I saying it’s all over with, done, we got the votes? No, but we certainly feel we have the wind at our back.”


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