Guns coming to head in Senate tomorrow. Cruz and Manchin/Toomey hold separate pressers on guns.— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) April 9, 2013
Journalists on Twitter were buzzing tonight about a looming deal on federal background checks cooked up by the recently evolved Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin and GOP Sen. Pat Toomey. A press conference will reportedly take place tomorrow at 11am Eastern. Stalwart conservative GOP Sen. Ted Cruz will be holding a separate presser.
Details. Devilish details:
After a day that found him at the center of the contentious national debate over new gun laws, Sen. Pat Toomey said a deal on background checks was near.
The Pennsylvania Republican said Tuesday night that he was close to reaching an agreement with Democrats that would give a critical GOP endorsement to the plan.
…A final agreement, brokered by Toomey and Sen. Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.), was expected to come together Wednesday. The plan, as of Tuesday night, would close background-check loopholes for purchases at gun shows and online, Manchin said, though the full details were not yet known.
Toomey and Manchin “continue to work on final details, but they appear close to a deal,” a Toomey spokeswoman wrote late Tuesday in an e-mail.
Manchin told reporters, “We really are getting there.”
Toomey has long opposed new gun laws but also has to think about seeking reelection in 2016. A deal on background checks could help his appeal in parts of a state that increasingly leans Democratic in presidential election years. His endorsement might also encourage Republicans from the Philadelphia suburbs to provide critical GOP votes in the House.
But Pennsylvania also has a strong hunting culture, and opponents of new restrictions on firearms are vocal and active.
Ahem. Paging the ACLU!
Tea Party activists are not happy with Sen. Toomey.
The internecine battle lines are drawn.
These phone lines are about to melt: