Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, says he is “very favorably disposed” toward the recently unveiled proposal from Sens. Joe Manchin III, West Virginia Democrat, and Patrick J. Toomey, Pennsylvania Republican, that would expand gun-purchase background checks to sales online and at gun shows.
“First of all, I’d like to thank Pat and Joe for their work together,” Mr. McCain said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Mr. McCain said the overwhelming majority of American people want to strengthen the background check system and there were questions he still had about the Internet part of the amendment.
“But look, I appreciate their work,” he said. “The American people want to do what we can to prevent these tragedies, and there’s a lot more that needs to be done, particularly in the area of mental health.”
NBC reported Saturday that Sen. Susan Collins, Maine Republican, will support the measure. But last week, Sen. Max Baucus, Montana Democrat, indicated he is opposed to it, and Democratic Sens. Mark Begich of Alaska of Mark L. Pryor of Arkansas voted against a motion to move broader gun legislation forward. If those positions hold on the Toomey-Manchin amendment, at least eight Republicans would have to support the measure in order to break a potential filibuster.
Sen. Mark Kirk, Illinois Republican, is another co-sponsor of the amendment.