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.