WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate's top Democrat says there will be a showdown vote on Thursday on his party's effort to enact new gun restrictions.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says he does not know if Democrats will get the 60 votes needed to break an effort by conservatives to block debate on the legislation.
At least five Republicans have indicated an openness to support the Democratic effort to at least begin debate. That would give Democrats the votes they would need — assuming no moderate Democrats defect, which is possible.
One Republican who wants to see the gun restrictions go to an up-or-down vote, Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, says, "The American people ought to see where everybody stands on this."
A Senate vote to begin debating the legislation would be a temporary victory for President Barack Obama's gun-control drive. It remains unclear, though, whether there are enough votes for final approval of the legislation.