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Charles Schumer says immigration reform bill expected Tuesday

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) addresses a news

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) addresses a news conference in Washington. (July 25, 2012) Photo Credit: Getty Images

A bill with bipartisan support to revamp U.S. immigration laws is expected to be introduced in the Senate on Tuesday, Sen. Charles Schumer said.

“I think you’ll see a major agreement that’s balanced and fair and that will have the widespread support of the American people on Tuesday,” Schumer (D-N.Y.) said on ABC’s “This Week With George Stephanopoulos.”

Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union" program that the bill would expand background checks for gun purchasers.

Toomey and Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia crafted legislation that would require background checks for firearms sales over the Internet and between private parties at gun shows. Noncommercial person-to-person firearms sales wouldn’t be covered, a tradeoff Democrats made to win Republican support. 

The Senate on April 11 voted to advance a scaled-back version of the gun-safety agenda President Barack Obama proposed after the shootings of 20 children and six adults at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.

Manchin and Toomey plan to offer their provision as an amendment to the underlying bill, Toomey said. On CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Manchin said that he and Toomey would tomorrow begin going through the provision “line by line, section by section” on the floor of the Senate to make their case.

Schumer said that the amendment faces a “hard road” to adoption in the Senate, where controversial legislation requires a supermajority of 60 votes in the 100-member chamber.


“Not all of the Republicans who voted to allow debate are going to vote with us on background checks,” Schumer said on ABC’s “This Week.” “So, it’s going to be a tough fight to even get the 60 votes we need for the Manchin-Toomey proposal.”

Schumer, the third-ranking Senate Democrat, said the “key battle is with a handful of Republicans” who have not committed to the Manchin-Toomey legislation and got a top rating from the National Rifle Association.

Even if the Senate passes a gun measure, it would encounter stiff opposition in the House, where Republican leaders haven’t even committed to taking up gun legislation.

The NRA is the nation’s largest gun rights lobby, and the Fairfax, Va.-based nonprofit organization says it has 4 million members.

Illinois Democrat Dick Durbin, the Senate majority whip, said he didn’t know if there were enough votes to pass the legislation.

“We haven’t whipped it,” Durbin said on “Fox News Sunday.”

“When it gets down to it, we’ve got to ask the basic question, should we try to keep guns out of the hands of felons and people so mentally unstable they shouldn’t own a firearm? If the answer is yes, Manchin-Toomey is a step in that direction.” 

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