WASHINGTON - Congress returns Monday from a two-week spring recess with gun control and immigration high on the Senate's agenda.
Senators could start debating Democratic-written gun legislation before week's end. But leaders also might decide to give negotiators more time to seek a deal on expanding background checks for firearms buyers.
The expanded background checks would be viewed as a victory for gun control advocates after Democratic leaders made it clear that supporters were nowhere close to getting a majority of votes in favor of reinstituting an assault weapons ban.
Both measures have been a priority for President Barack Obama since the December killings of students and staff at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.
The National Rifle Association opposes both the assault weapons ban and the expanded background checks.