Monday in politics: Senate focuses on gun control legislation, and more

Phil Pruitt

The Senate’s agenda this week will be dominated by legislation that would require background checks for people buying guns at gun shows and online.

Background checks currently apply only to transactions handled by the country's 55,000 licensed gun dealers. Private transactions, such as a sale of a gun between family members, would still be exempt.

[Background checks for gun buyers win more backing]

The proposal, crafted by Sens. Patrick Toomey, R-Pa., and Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., picked up the support of Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, Sunday.

A vote on the measure could come as early as Wednesday, and it will be close.

The Supreme Court will hear arguments Monday regarding the question of whether human genes can be patented.

The nine justices’ decision could reshape the fight against diseases such as breast and ovarian cancer and the multibillion dollar medical and biotechnology business, the Associated Press reports.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has been awarding patents on human genes for almost 30 years, but opponents argue that allowing companies to patent human genes or parts of human genes slows lifesaving medical research.

Also worth noting on Monday: President Barack Obama will welcome BCS National Champion University of Alabama Crimson Tide to the White House.

And then there is this: Political satirist Stephen Colbert will host a fundraiser Monday in Washington for his sister Elizabeth Colbert Busch, the Democratic Party candidate in South Carolina's 1st Congressional District May 7 special election. Colbert Busch faces Republican former Gov. Mark Sanford.

Sources: Yahoo News’ The Ticket, ABC News, Associated Press and Reuters.