Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Nashville news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Nashville newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Columbus news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Columbus newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Dallas news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Dallas newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Memorials at Stoneman Douglas High School. (Photo: Giles Clarke / Getty Images)

The gun debate is still stalled in the Senate, just like the immigration debate stalled out a few weeks ago. But there's one big difference that could help the gun debate avoid the same fate: This time, there's a base bill that is pretty popular with both parties. The question is whether to have additional votes and, if so, which ones could scuttle the whole thing.

The big picture: There's growing openness to a vote on Majority Whip John Cornyn and Sen. Chris Murphy's bill strengthening background checks with additional amendment votes. But it's an uphill climb towards getting both parties to agree to a set of votes that could damage members on each side.

"I don’t want to end up like DACA, where we end up with nothing. I think there has to be something that has broad bipartisan support. The Fix NICS bill fits that definition. But if people need votes on other things in order to agree to that, then I think that would be, perhaps, one solution.”
— Cornyn yesterday to reporters

What to watch: One way forward, Cornyn said, would be for senators to reach a "consent agreement" that might allow votes on several measures. But all 100 senators would have to agree to it. Without an agreement, "then you’re stuck with a week, maybe two-week long process going through the ordinary Senate rules," Cornyn said.

  • Still, during the immigration debate, there was no one bill with substantial bipartisan support. Votes were on dueling plans, rather than add-ons to something everyone already agrees to.

The bottom line: No one really thinks there are any gun amendments that could pass, other than the Cornyn-Murphy bill – if it ever comes to the floor.

  • The best candidate for passage, if offered as an amendment, would probably be something along the lines of Sen. Orrin Hatch's school safety bill, which would offer grants for various resources to help prevent school violence.

Between the lines: Democrats feel like they have to — and should — seize on the moment to do more than shore up the existing gun background check system. Most Republicans genuinely feel like the Cornyn-Murphy bill is the best solution. It also happens to be a bipartisan, NRA-supported gun bill that legitimately could help keep guns out of the wrong hands.

  • Republicans feel like there's a little bit of a political incentive here, too. "I think it's safe to say [Senate Majority Leader Mitch] McConnell just doesn't feel the countervailing pressures that [Senate Minority Leader Chuck] Schumer does from his conference. At least not to the same degree," a source close to McConnell told me.
  • But red-state Democrats up for re-election this year don't seem as worried as Republicans say they should be if gun control amendments come up for a vote. "There has to be more that we can do at this point. The country is demanding it. So we’d have to have some amendments, in my opinion," Sen. Claire McCaskill said.

Go deeper

"Atmospheric river" to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood

A map depicting 24-hour preciptation forecast (inches) ending Monday at 5a.m. local time. Photo: NOAA

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are set dump historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest from this weekend, forecasters warn.

Why it matters: A strong atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, is predicted to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood.

10,000 trees near giant sequoia groves to be removed after fires

A firefighter looks up at a giant sequoia tree after fire burned through the Sequoia National Forest near California Hot Springs, California, on Sept. 23. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

"Upwards of" 10,000 trees near giant sequoia groves have been "weakened by drought, disease, age, and/or fire" and must be removed in the wake of California's wildfires, the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks announced.

Why it matters: The damage to these trees, considered "national treasures," and work to remove them means a nearby key highway must remain closed to visitors as they have "the potential to strike people, cars, other structures, or create barriers to emergency response services," per a statement from the national parks.

Obama stumps for McAuliffe, urges Virginians not "to go back to the chaos"

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Former President Barack Obama framed a Nov. 2 gubernatorial race as a bellwether for the Democratic Party and the country, telling a crowd at a campaign event for Terry McAuliffe on Saturday that "I believe you, right here in Virginia, are going to show the rest of the country and the world that we're not going to indulge in our worst instincts."

Why it matters: With just over a week to go before Election Day in the Commonwealth, McAuliffe is bringing out the big guns. The 44th president appeared on the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University to urge supporters to get to the polls.

You’ve caught up. Now what?

Sign up for Mike Allen’s daily Axios AM and PM newsletters to get smarter, faster on the news that matters.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!