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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Rubio and Nelson split votes as Senate defeats expanded gun background checks



The U.S. Senate moments ago defeated a bipartisan compromise measure that would have expanded background checks to gun shows and online sales.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio joined those to kill the measure; Bill Nelson voted for it.

The vote was so closely watched that Vice President Joe Biden presided. Families from Newtown, Conn., watched from the gallery.


WASHINGTON (AP) -- Senate Republicans backed by a small band of rural-state Democrats scuttled the most far-reaching gun control legislation in two decades Wednesday, rejecting tighter background checks for buyers and a ban on assault weapons as they spurned pleas from families of victims of last winter's school massacre in Newtown,Conn.

"This effort isn't over," President Barack Obama vowed at the White House moments after the defeat on one of his top domestic priorities. Surrounded by Newtown relatives, he said opponents of the legislation in both parties "caved to the pressure" of special interests.

A ban on high-capacity ammunition magazines also fell in a series of showdown votes four months after a gunman killed 20 elementary school children and six staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary.

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[Last modified: Wednesday, April 17, 2013 8:21pm]


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