WASHINGTON (NBC News) — Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., signaled Wednesday that the chamber will not quickly vote on a pair of House-passed background checks bills, giving Democrats and Republicans time to negotiate a possible but improbable bipartisan deal to address a spate of horrific mass shootings that have rocked the nation in recent weeks.  

“My Republican colleagues can work with us now. I know this is a slim prospect, very slim, all too slim — we’ve been burned so many times before — but this is so important,” a skeptical Schumer said on the Senate floor, the day after 19 children and two adults were shot to death at a southern Texas elementary school.

Other Democrats, including Sens. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., want to press forward with votes on gun-safety legislation immediately, putting their incalcitrant Republican colleagues on record. 

But Schumer’s move likely punts the issue until after next week’s Memorial Day congressional recess. 

Read the full story on NBCNews.com.