Growing momentum in the Senate for new gun-control legislation has failed to flow down to the House, where just a handful of House Republicans have embraced a deal to expand background checks for firearm purchases.
Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) and multiple Republican members of the Pennsylvania delegation are backing a compromise brokered by the Keystone State’s Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) that advanced in the Senate on Thursday.
Yet in interviews, those lawmakers said they have had no discussions with the House GOP leadership and don’t know what the prospects for the legislation would be in a chamber dominated by conservatives.
While party leaders have made a concerted effort to prepare their rank-and-file for a major immigration push this year, they have not done so on the gun issue.
Senior aides say the topic has rarely come up in leadership meetings, as top Republicans stick to Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) plan to wait on Senate action on gun control.