The Spectacle Blog

UPDATED Reps. King, Thompson Debut Background Check Bill

By on 4.16.13 | 12:26PM

Last night Representatives Pete King (R-N.Y.) and Mike Thompson (D-Calif.) introduced their bill on background checks, H.R.1565:

U.S. Reps. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Pat Meehan (R-PA), Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) and Peter Defazio (D-OR) joined King and Thompson in co-authoring the legislation. The King-Thompson legislation is identical to the bipartisan agreement on background checks struck by Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Pat Toomey (R-PA).

The bill has been referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary and the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

As noted yesterday, Senate Amendment 715 replaces the key provision of the Senate Democrats’ main bill, S.649, with a tailored background check plan in the hope of building a (necessarily bipartisan) super-majority coalition. Mixed public opinion polls favor expanded background checks overwhelmingly, but is paradoxically divided on the general question of stricter gun laws.

As Politico reported yesterday afternoon and this morning, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is short of the 60 votes needed to surmount a filibuster. But he is working with Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to schedule the necessary votes, hoping to build support through the amendment process. Even if his measure survives the upper chamber, it will face a hostile House Judiciary Committee -- the same that will take up King and Thompson’s bill.

UPDATED

Congressman Mike Thompson's official statement regarding the bill's prospects:

More than 90 percent of Americans support this legislation and if it comes up for a vote in the House it will pass. The American people are getting a vote in the Senate. They deserve one on this legislation in the House.

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