Via Roll Call: Four senators may have signed on to a gun background check deal Wednesday, but only two showed up for the news conference — in part because Pennsylvania GOP Sen.Patrick J. Toomey’s public support for the bill hinged on not having to stand next to Democratic Sen. Charles E. Schumer of New York.
The background check bill, which would close the gun show loophole and expand checks to online sales, is officially co-sponsored by Schumer; Toomey; Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-WV), D-W.Va.; and Mark S. Kirk, R-Ill. But only Toomey and Manchin appeared before the cameras. Toomey, the former Club for Growth president, had told Manchin he would not speak at the news conference if he had to get on stage with Schumer, according to two sources familiar with the talks. Schumer obliged, and Kirk also agreed not to appear in order to provide cover to Schumer.