(CNN) - In a major defeat for supporters of tougher gun laws, the Senate on Wednesday defeated a compromise proposal to expand background checks on firearms sales.
The bipartisan compromise was championed by Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va. and Pat Toomey, R-Pa., and backed by President Barack Obama in his push for a package of gun laws in the aftermath of the Newtown school massacre.
"On this vote, the yays are 54, the nays are 46. Under the previous order requiring 60 votes for the adoption of this amendment, the amendment is not agreed to," said Vice President Joe Biden, who presided over the vote in his role as president of the Senate.