Despite an impassioned push by President Barack Obama and an emotional lobbying effort by the families of mass shooting victims, proponents of a compromise measure to expand gun background checks on Wednesday fell six votes short of passage in the Senate.
The vote on the amendment was 54 to 46. Sixty votes were needed for the amendment to be adopted.
The deal was the result of a deal struck between Republican Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia. It would have extended existing background check rules to gun sales made online and at gun shows.
Speaking in the Rose Garden after the vote, a visibly frustrated Obama decried the defeat of the measure as parents of victims of last year’s Newtown school shootings and former congresswoman Gabby Giffords looked on.
“All in all, this was a pretty shameful day for Washington,” he said sternly, urging backers of gun control to continue the fight.
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