This is the week gun control is on the U.S. Senate agenda. The Washington Post says that prospects for a bipartisan deal to expand federal background checks for gun purchases are improving with the emergence of fresh Republican support. The possibility senators might be on the cusp of a breakthrough comes as President Obama and his surrogates today begin their most aggressive push yet to rally Americans around his gun-control agenda. Even though polls show that a universal background-check system is supported by nine in 10 Americans, the president has been unable to translate popular support for the measures into legislative momentum. Now, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W VA) has spent the past few days crafting the framework of a possible deal with Sen. Patrick Toomey (R-PA). The two would require background checks for all gun purchases except sales between close family members and some hunters, which addresses concerns of some conservatives.