Toomey: no second try on gun bill

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The vote on the bill, backed by Sens. Joe Manchin (left) and Pat Toomey, was 54-46, short of the 60 votes needed. (Associated Press)

WASHINGTON -- Could the senate and Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey take a second shot at passing the background check bill that fell short last week?

The New York Times reported today that Toomey's co-sponsor, Sen. Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.) was working Toomey and others to try to tweak the bill and maybe win over the last, needed votes.

But Toomey doesn't see much hope for that idea.

"My own view is very simple: the senate has had its vote. We’ve seen the outcome of that vote. I am not aware of any reason to believe that if we had the vote again that we’d have a different outcome," Toomey, a Republican, said in a conference call with reporters Friday afternoon. "If that were to change my guess is (Senate Majority Leader Harry) Reid would consider having another vote."

Toomey has consistently said he plans to return to the fiscal and economic issues that have long been his focus. He said so the night of the vote, the day after, and two days after.

"Until we have such reason to believe that we’d have a different outcome I think the issue is resolved by the senate," Toomey said Friday. "I accept when the senate speaks and so I’ve turned my attention to the fiscal and economic matters that I’ve normally focused on."

(Indeed, the conference call Friday focused on the bills approved this week to provide some budget flexibility and ease the furloughs affecting air travel).

Toomey's time in the national spotlight on guns, though, seems to have done good things for his approval ratings. He saw a four point bump in his approval rating in the last month, giving him a 48 percent approval rating among Pennsylvania voters, his highest ever.

By a count of 54-12 voters thought more favorably of Toomey because of his work on guns, the Quinnipiac University poll found. I posted more details on the poll earlier.

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