From the tunnels
From Kerry in Washington:
Without any votes scheduled today in the U.S. Senate, we spent some time hanging out in the Capitol tunnels, watching senators from both sides of the aisle arrive at their weekly (lengthy) Tuesday policy lunches.
Former Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Giffords - a guest of Congressman Joe Manchin's at lunch today - also passed through the tunnels with her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly. Giffords - who was nearly fatally shot in the head in her district in January 2011 - is on the hill to try to rally support for gun control.
But U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk - one of the major players in the gun control debate - says they're "not ready for a vote " referring to the bipartisan background check deal that was announced last week. The Senate is likely to push a vote on the measure back to later this week in the hopes of having better chances of clearing a 60-vote filibuster hurdle.
Right now, just 52 senators say they'll vote for a bill, with a few on both sides of the aisle still outstanding.