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White House confident some gun-control bills will pass

AP
Rafael Cafagna, right, becomes emotional while standing with his wife, Shannon Cafagna, left, during the singing of the national anthem at the Guns Across America rally at the state Capitol in Austin, Texas, on Saturday Jan. 19, 2013. Several hundred people attended the pro-Second Amendment rally. (AP Photo/Statesman.com, Jay Janner)

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By Reuters
Sunday, Jan. 20, 2013, 7:08 p.m.
 

WASHINGTON — A White House adviser on Sunday said he was optimistic Congress will approve at least part of President Obama's proposals for gun control, but Republicans scoffed at the notion.

David Plouffe said on Sunday talk shows he believes there is support in Congress for some measures, including universal background checks for gun buyers and limits on high-capacity clips.

“I'm confident some of the measures you mentioned — clips, universal background checks — I think there are 60 votes in the Senate and 218 in the House, that the president would sign,” Plouffe said on ABC's “This Week,” citing the vote threshold to pass legislation in the two chambers.

“We don't expect it all to pass, or in its current form, but we think there's elements of this that are absolutely critical,” Plouffe said.

But Republicans on Sunday said Obama's key proposals had little chance in Congress, and insisted that such gun restrictions would not have prevented the Connecticut shooting last month in which 20 children and six adults were killed.

Reinstating the ban on assault weapons that expired in 2004 is widely seen as having little chance in Congress.

“Let's do things that will make a difference here, rather than take one more opportunity to go at an old agenda,” Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt said on “Fox News Sunday.”

“We had bans on things for a decade. That didn't seem to make any difference at all, but, during that same decade, our willingness to share information about mental problems, our willingness to share information between security officials and police officials, all declined,” Blunt said.

Wyoming Republican Sen. John Barrasso said Obama “ignored the major issues of mental health and violence in society in the media and video games, and he has focused so much on what may be happening at gun shows or on gun shelves at gun stores that I think he is failing to try to really find a solution to the problem of the tragedy of Newtown.”

Barrasso, speaking on CNN's “State of the Union,” noted that even the Senate majority leader had voiced doubt about reinstating a ban on assault weapons.

“I don't think Sen. Harry Reid even brings it to the Senate floor because he has six Democrats up for election in two years in states where the president received fewer than 42 percent of the votes,” Barrasso said.

“And he doesn't want his Democrats to have to choose between their own constituents and the president's positions,” he said.

 

 
 


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