Skip to comments.McCain emerges as key senator for expanding background checks
Posted on 03/24/2013 12:27:25 PM PDT by jazusamo
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has emerged as a key player if Senate Democrats are to have any chance of passing legislation to expand background checks for private sales of firearms.
McCain and Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Dean Heller (R-Nev.) are at the top of a list of Republicans considered most likely to sign on to legislation expanding background checks after talks with Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) stalled earlier this month.
Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) has signaled he will likely support the yet-to-be-finalized proposal he negotiated with Sens. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) to expand background checks to cover private gun sales, according to Senate sources.
The proposal includes modifications to attract Republican support. One would let rural gun owners conduct background checks from their home computers. Another would give military veterans who have been declared mentally unfit to own a gun a process for appealing that finding.
Expanding background checks is the centerpiece of President Obamas proposal to change the nations gun laws in response to the mass shooting that killed 20 children in Newtown, Ct., last December.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has announced he will include background-checks legislation in a gun-violence package scheduled for the Senate floor in April, even though its uncertain whether it could gather the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster.
McCain could provide crucial Republican support because he has a "B-plus" rating from the National Rifle Association, one of the most powerful interest groups in Washington. His endorsement could bring along Heller, who has an "A" rating from the NRA.
Collins and Kirk have weaker credentials on gun issues within Republican circles. Collins has a "C-plus" rating from the NRA and Kirk has an "F."
Manchin, who has an "A" rating from the NRA, has taken the lead in shopping the background-checks proposal to Republican lawmakers, said a Senate aide.
Manchin said he is shopping the proposal widely, but declined Friday to reveal his lobbying list.
Anybody and every one of them. Im talking to everybody, he said when asked to identify targeted Republican senators.
McCain said he has discussed extended background checks, but declined to reveal any details from those talks.
Weve had discussions about the issue, said McCain. I never describe my discussions with other senators.
A Senate aide said Collins has had conversations with Manchin over the past several weeks. Another Senate source said she has been approached about background checks.
Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) said he has also been approached by Manchin. He is open-minded about expanding background checks, but shares the concerns Coburn had over requiring private sellers to maintain records.
Heller said he wants to make sure felons and people suffering from mental illness do not have access to guns but is unsure about how to implement expanded background checks.
Weve had a couple of conversations. Weve had a couple of conversations, he said.
Heller wants to make sure that expanding background checks does not lead to a national registry of gun owners.
Coburn and I share that concern only because you have to keep those records from 15 to 20 years and even proponents of the legislation say they would subject law-abiding citizens to stings by the ATF, he said in reference to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
But Heller said the record-keeping requirement for expanded background checks, which Schumer has insisted on, is a deal breaker.
I wouldnt say anything at this point is a deal breaker, he said.
Sen. Dan Coats (R-Ind.) is seen as another Republican who might support a bipartisan proposal to expand background checks. Coats has a "C-plus" NRA rating, which makes him an attractive target. But Coats on Friday denied that he has been approached by colleagues to back the Schumer-Manchin-Kirk proposal.
I dont know if Im the shopping list or not. No one has approached me, said Coats.
Coats said he wants to see the details of legislation on background checks before making a decision. He said he would oppose Sen. Dianne Feinsteins (D-Calif.) proposal to ban military-style semi-automatic weapons.
"Sen. Kirk remains largely supportive of the background check proposal so far negotiated between he and Sens. Manchin and Schumer, and he will continue negotiating for language to protect veterans' Second Amendment rights," said Lance Trover, Kirk's spokesman.
Gun-control advocates on Friday praised Reids decision to include a background-checks measure in the base gun-violence bill he will bring to the Senate floor.
I applaud Senator Reid for sending a bill to the Senate floor that includes comprehensive, enforceable background checks and for emphasizing that to be effective, any bill that passes the Senate must include background checks, said New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I), co-chairman of Mayors Against Illegal guns. This sensible reform with overwhelming support from Americans, including gun owners will save lives and keep our communities safer.
Reid on Tuesday raised the possibility that he would leave it out of the base bill because of concern that Republicans might block the legislation if it included objectionable language on background checks.
On Thursday, Reid said he would include the background-checks legislation approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee last week on a party-line vote. That provision will likely not garner 60 votes, but Schumer and other gun-control advocates hope Republicans can be found in the next few weeks to support a bipartisan alternative to expand background checks.
McCain doesn’t speak for anyone I know.
Bump! I hear you but we have to keep trying to get their attention, keep blasting them.
That graphic is sadly right on the mark and powerful.
Whatever the issue is, you can always be sure John McCain is standing there on the wrong side, stabbing us in the back.
McCain always seems to be the key POS in any backstabbing of Constitutional governance in this republic. Soros sure gets his money’s worth out of him.
I’m no fan of McCain and not making excuses but I believe his A-4 was hit by a missile from an aircraft to his rear.
McCain is the greaatest saboteur of America since Jane Fonda and John Kerry.
Of course the fix has been in all along. I distinctly remember reading about McCain flying coach, handling his own bags, and driving rental cars on the campaign trail in the early 2008 primary.
How does someone go from being a wanna-be contender with no organization, and no cash at the beginning of a primary, to being the Republican nominee at the end?
When 2 + 2 = 5, you know you're being hoodwinked.
It was McCain's job all along to graciously 'lose' to the radical Communist, Obama. Even if he had to throw the race to do it.
“It was his A-4 that fired the rocket on the Forrestal’s deck that damned near ended up sinking the carrier.” WRONG the Zuni 5 inch rocket that was fired hit the jet NEXT to MacPain’s, MacPain escaped by going hand over hand and dangling and dropping off of the Re-Fueling rod to safety.
McLame is just a brain twisted old Rat in RINO clothing
I hate to defend McLame because he’s been a traitor since the day he first took office as a Congressman and worked with Kerry to shut down investigations into POWs. But he actually was a hero that day on the Forrestal. After he escaped his plane he helped another pilot escape the flames IIRC. No easy thing with Jet A fuel blazing up everywhere.
2nd Amendment bump for later.......
During the last election cycle, I was able to observe Senator McCain up close and personal for over an hour.
Whatever else you might say, Senator McCain is not stupid, nor does he lack energy. He is smart, aware, and effective for what he decides he wants to push.
Unfortunately, this is often the wrong thing and works against us. I am very concerned that he influence his junior Senator, Jeff Flake, who has the possibility of being very good.
McCain, in my opinion, is an old style “progressive”, which means at his core he is a big government nanny state type.
That would be racist.
McCain is bought and paid for by Soros without any doubt whatsoever.
Palin has a house in Arizona now, she should run for his seat.
Though I depise McCain to my core....I find nothing in the article but supposition he will back background checks...
Of course I have no doubt he would vote for it .....so he can be the media maverick ...again...
Nonetheless, there remain roughly 47 reasons why I consider him a useless, opportunistic political waste of time.
And, let the record reflect, I voted for his sorry butt -- full well recognizing it was a sorry butt -- in 2008.
Even after he called me -- and everybody else who objected to his "comprehensive immigration reform" -- a "bigoted asshole"...
At bottom, I really do detest the man...