4:30 p.m. UPDATE: Senate rejects bipartisan plan expanding background checks, major blow to gun control effort.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House says it isn't giving up hope that expanded background checks can pass the Senate.
The bipartisan proposal faces almost certain defeat Wednesday in the Senate. It's the centerpiece of the drive to reduce gun violence and a major priority for President Barack Obama.
White House spokesman Jay Carney says the path to the requisite 60 votes is very difficult, but still exists. He says there's still time for senators to do the right thing - even those who have said they'll vote against it. He says senators who vote against it disagree with the families of Newtown victims.
Carney also says any senator who hasn't read the background check amendment should be ashamed. He says everyone at the White House, including Obama, is working on the issue.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)