Sen. Patrick Toomey, R-Pa., and Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., the dynamic duo who drafted a gun sale background check compromise bill, find themselves divided now on the future of gun control.
While Manchin recently boasted that the gun saga would return to Capitol Hill this year, Toomey's office seems to be resigned to the fact that the Senate has likely reached the end of the road.
"The Senate has spoken on this issue. He came up six votes short. There would have to be a change in the atmosphere to yield a different outcome," a spokesman from Toomey's office said. "That seems unlikely in the near future."
Toomey told the Times Herald, a newspaper in Norristown, Pa., that many of his GOP colleagues simply voted against the legislation because President Barack Obama had fought so hard for it.
"In the end it didn't pass because we're so politicized. There were some on my side who did not want to be seen helping the president do something that he wanted to get done, just because the president wanted to do it," he said.
Without an outcry to for leadership to bring the bill to the floor again and without any indication that lawmakers who voted 'no' are going to switch their votes, the Senate will turn its attention to other big ticket items when it return next week.
The Senate Judiciary Committee, which passed on four gun bills to the full Senate, has comprehensive immigration reform on the docket. And issues like tax reform and an Internet tax bill will garner the most attention in upcoming weeks.
But outside the Beltway, it's impossible to ignore that pressure is mounting against senators who voted against the background check bill legislation, which would have required online purchasers of guns and those who buy them at gun shows to be subject to background checks.
Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., clashed with Erica Lafferty, the daughter of the Sandy Hook Elementary School principal who was killed in December, Tuesday during a town hall. And six lawmakers, including Ayotte, who voted against the background check bill have seen sliding poll numbers according to left-leaning Public Policy Polling.
Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., saw his numbers fall so dramatically that he issued a statement on his Facebook page, commenting that "given the public's dim view of Congress in general, that probably puts me somewhere just below pond scum."
"Notwithstanding the polling firm's leftist bent, I would assume that my poll numbers have indeed taken a southerly turn since my vote against the Manchin-Toomey background check proposal," Flake said. "It was a popular amendment, and I voted against it."
Progressive groups are also mounting airwave offensives.
The Progressive Change Campaign Committee launched a $50,000 TV ad campaign against retiring Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., who voted against the legislation even though he intends to leave the Senate in 2014.
In the ad, Claire Kelly, a grandma with a gun who used her weapon to defend herself from a home intruder, lends her voice as one of the 79 percent of Montanans who support expanding background checks.
"I have been a victim of a home invasion. I hid my girls in a closet, called for help, aimed my handgun at the door and waited," she says. "Guns can protect us, but we're less safe with guns in the wrong hands...Sen. Baucus now that you're retiring, please put Montana first."
So far, however, there is no indication that anyone is changing their vote.