Pat Toomey: Odds for background checks better than ever

In an interview Monday, Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey said he spoke with Trump late last week and that the president is still “very interested” in moving forward with a proposal modeled off Toomey’s bipartisan bill with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.). That legislation will likely have to be modified to attract more Republican support and will be more modest than the House-passed legislation to require universal background checks, according to senators involved in the issue.

Toomey echoed recent comments from Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) that the effort is still an underdog one because it’s “almost always a less than even proposition to pass a major controversial piece of legislation through divided government.” Yet Toomey is feeling better about the state of play than at any time in the past six years.

“Fundamentally, [it’s] a difficult task. That being said, the chances are looking better than they have ever looked at any time, certainly, since Sen. Manchin and I first pushed for Manchin-Toomey back in 2013,” Toomey said.