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Sen. John Cornyn in the Capitol

By David Morgan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -A bipartisan group of lawmakers on Tuesday released new legislation to address mass shootings, setting the stage for the U.S. Senate to vote on passage of the bill later this week with support from the chamber's top Republican.

Lawmakers said they were likely to take their first procedural vote on the package on Tuesday evening, after bridging differences on issues involving abortion, red flag laws and domestic violence.

"I believe that this week, we will pass legislation that will become the most significant piece of anti-gun-violence legislation Congress will have passed in 30 years. This is a breakthrough. And more importantly, it is a bipartisan breakthrough," Senator Chris Murphy, the lead Democrat in the talks, said on the Senate floor.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer pledged to move forward as soon as possible, with an expected motion to proceed on a bill from the House of Representatives that would serve as the Senate's legislative vehicle.

"This bipartisan gun-safety legislation is progress and will save lives. While it is not everything we want, this legislation is urgently needed," Schumer said in a statement.

Schumer's Republican counterpart, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, described the legislation as "a commonsense package" in a statement pledging his own support.

With the 100-seat Senate split evenly, the legislation will need support from at least 10 Republicans to pass.

(Reporting by David Morgan; Additional reporting by Moira Warburton; Editing by Scott Malone, Jonathan Oatis, David Gregorio and Cynthia Osterman)


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