A conservative effort to block Senate progress
on gun control legislation failed Thursday in a 68 to 31 vote.
The bill under consideration would expand background checks to more gun buyers, tighten punishment for illegal weapons sales and boost school security. Other bills and amendments may also be introduced as debate moves forward.
Families of the 20 young students and five adult educators who were slaughtered in December in Newtown, Connecticut, have been in town all week lobbying Congress on the gun control issue.
Under rules in the 100-member Senate, 40 Senators can filibuster - that is, block debate on - a bill, which effectively kills the legislation.
Democrats control only 55 seats in the Senate, and several Democrats from rural states were expected to join Republicans in the filibuster.
That meant that a number of liberal Republicans were needed to get the bill past the so-called cloture vote.
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