The Senate on Thursday cleared a major hurdle on a gun background check bill, voting 68-31 to overcome a filibuster of the bill. However, the ultimate fate of the bill is uncertain as it is likely to face another filibuster attempt before any vote on final passage.
With polls showing that as many as 90 percent of Americans want to see enhanced background checks for firearms, many GOP senators were wary of filibustering the motion to proceed to the bill even if they eventually vote against it. Several Republicans voted with the majority of Democrats, while only a handful of Democrats voted to sustain the filibuster.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.