Share This Page

White House confident some gun-control bills will pass

| Sunday, Jan. 20, 2013, 7:08 p.m.
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)

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.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.