Sens. Pat Toomey and Joe Manchin this morning unveiled their bipartisan deal on background checks, anonymous sources tell NBC. “Background checks are not a cure-all, but they can be helpful," said Toomey, in announcing the deal. It wouldn't create truly universal background checks—some transactions, like those between family members, are specifically exempted—but it would greatly expand them to include gun shows and online sales. Both senators hold A ratings from the NRA, which could help them persuade more moderate Republicans, though the NRA is considered unlikely to support it.
Key negotiator Chuck Schumer has signed off on the deal, reports Politico, and has notified Gabrielle Giffords' husband Mark Kelly. Fourteen senators still plan to filibuster, including Oklahoma's James Inhofe, who yesterday accused Obama of using families of Newtown victims as pawns. "I think it's so unfair of the administration to hurt these families, to make them think this has something to do with them when, in fact, it doesn't," he said, according to the Huffington Post. The families appear to disagree. Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal met with many of them yesterday, and says they were "aghast" at the prospect of a filibuster. "What is happening in Washington, DC, if there cannot be a vote by the United States Senate?"