(NBC NEWS) A bipartisan proposal to expand background checks for gun sales failed in part due to Republicans’ desire to prevent President Barack Obama from winning a victory on a major policy initiative, the gun proposal’s chief GOP proponent said Wednesday.

Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., who crafted a proposal with Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., to extend background checks to firearms purchased at gun shows and online, said the measure failed to win the 60 votes it needed to win passage due to Republican politics.

“In the end it didn’t pass because we’re so politicized,” Toomey told editors from Digital First Media in an interview published Wednesday by the Norristown Times Herald.

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