Minn. senators disappointed in failure of background checks provision

Legislation to expand background checks for gun buyers failed in the U.S. Senate on Wednesday, disappointing Minnesota's two Democratic senators.

Sen. Al Franken said he had been optimistic because the bipartisan deal on background checks was co-written by Democrat Joe Manchin, who represents gun-friendly West Virginia.

"I thought that would carry the day, I really did," Franken said.

In the end, the amendment got 54 votes, six shy of the 60-vote threshold that Republicans insisted on for passage.

Both Franken and fellow Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar voted to expand background checks.

In a written statement, Klobuchar said she was disappointed with the outcome and plans to work with law enforcement to strengthen the background check system.

"While today's vote on this bipartisan compromise is disappointing, I will continue to work with law enforcement to find a way forward to strengthen background checks, and build on the bipartisan support we've seen on other issues in the Senate," Klobuchar wrote.

"I thought we could get this done but we didn't. But you know what? We'll revisit this again," Franken said.

Franken plans to keep pushing for legislation to expand mental health programs in schools, something he believes still has wide bipartisan support.

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