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Democrats toughen stance ahead of gun talks, but could cut deals down the road - To the moon and back
(CNN)Senate Democrats are hardening their position over new gun legislation, dismissing attempts to pass narrower measures until Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell schedules a vote on a sweeping background checks bill already approved by the House. Sen. Lamar Alexander, chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, has been dispatched to determine which programs could be strengthened to help treat those who have mental health problems, according to multiple sources. That could include identifying areas where more funding is needed, such as for community health centers and school counselors. Asked about her preference, aides to Sen. Patty Murray, the top Democrat on the committee, signaled that her interest instead is on keeping the focus on the House-passed background …