As you’ve no doubt heard by now, everybody was at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner Saturday night, including Sens. Pat Toomey and Joe Manchin, whose joint effort to pass expanded background check legislation isn’t dead yet, despite a defeat in the Senate Apr. 17. President Obama took to the Rose Garden almost immediately following the vote to insist he wasn’t giving up, and it looks like Toomey and Manchin are “totally committed” to reviving their amendment.
The New York Times reported last Thursday that Manchin and Toomey were “quietly” working behind the scenes to revive gun control legislation, and the two confirmed that effort Saturday at “Nerd Prom.”
Manchin followed up with an appearance on Fox News Sunday, where he said he would rework the proposal in preparation for another floor vote. Manchin told host Chris Wallace, “If you’re a law-abiding gun owner, you’ll love this bill.”
Manchin might have found some inspiration to keep up his fight for background checks from an unlikely source. Robert A. Levy of the Cato Institute published an op-ed in the New York Times making “a libertarian case” for a modified version of the Manchin-Toomey proposal. That argument, however, alludes less to the Constitution than to the belief that “public opinion is overwhelmingly in favor of reasonable legislation.”
Editor’s note: This post originally referred to Chris Matthews as the host of Fox News Sunday. It is, of course, Chris Wallace. We apologize for the error.