Democrats set to pare down gun control bills in aim for unity

Instead, Democrats are preparing to vote on a scaled-down guns bill — most likely a curtailed plan to boost background checks for firearm buyers. The goal is to unite the party and pick up a limited number of Republican votes, even as their effort appears headed towards the same doomed fate as previous proposals to curb gun violence. Despite the all-but-certain GOP filibuster facing Democrats on guns, they’re well aware that a unified 50-vote Senate majority is the only way to put unmitigated political pressure on their opponents.

It’s a stark contrast with Democrats' approach to their sweeping elections package, which lacks total support from their Senate caucus and is unlikely to win any Republican votes when it comes to the floor this week. But it’s just a matter of math in the evenly divided Senate, according to Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), who had spearheaded the latest round of gun control negotiations.

“I'm not interested in bringing a proposal to the Senate floor that can't even get 50. And the quickest way to get 50 is to keep all the Democrats together,” said Murphy.