Democrats confident in Obama's gun proposals; Republicans skeptical
January 20th, 2013
10:35 AM ET
10 years ago

Democrats confident in Obama's gun proposals; Republicans skeptical

Washington (CNN) – The package of legislative measures meant to stem gun violence – proposed by President Barack Obama last week - was met with varying forecasts of success Sunday by lawmakers who will take up the plan in the coming days.

And David Plouffe, a senior adviser to Obama, told CNN's chief political correspondent Candy Crowley that he was confident certain measures, like reinforcing laws mandating background checks during gun sales, would succeed in Congress.

"There are 60 votes in the Senate and 218 votes in the House, if votes will come up for some of these gun safety measures, like gun clips, like universal background checks," Plouffe said on "State of the Union." "There's a consensus in America on this and I think we can get here on Capitol Hill."

On Wednesday, Obama signed 23 executive actions - which don't require congressional approval - to strengthen existing gun laws and take related steps on mental health and school safety.

He also called on Congress to reinstate an assault weapons ban that expired in 2004, to restrict ammunition magazines to no more than 10 rounds, and to expand background checks to anyone buying a gun, whether at a store or in a private sale at an auction or gun show.

Sen. Chuck Schumer, the number three Democrat in the Senate, said a bill on background checks was imminent in the upper chamber.

"I think you're going to see a very good likelihood in the next week or two a proposal that has broad support for universal background checks," the New York Democrat said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

"This is the best chance of getting something done, and I think you're going to find much broader support than we've ever imagined," he added.

His Republican colleagues sounded less confident. Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyoming, said on "State of the Union" he didn't think 60 votes on a background check measure or a ban on high capacity gun magazines was likely – and that certain Democrats could be to blame.

"I don't think that [Senate Majority Leader] Harry Reid even brings it to the Senate floor because he has six Democrats up for election in two years in states were the president received fewer than 42% of the votes," Barrasso said. "He doesn't want his Democrats to have to choose between their own constituents and the president's positions."

Those six vulnerable Democrats – Max Baucus of Montana, Mark Begich of Alaska, Tim Johnson of South Dakota, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Kay Hagan of North Carolina and Mark Pryor of Arkansas – have not yet indicated where they stand on the measures Obama is pressing. But Reid indicated in a statement after the plan was released that he was "committed to ensuring that the Senate will consider legislation that addresses gun violence and other aspects of violence in our society early this year."

On "Meet the Press," Sen. Ted Cruz, a newly elected Republican from Texas, asserted Obama was taking advantage of the Newtown tragedy to promote a liberal agenda.

"The president began trying to exploit that tragedy to push a gun control agenda that is designed to appeal to partisans, designed to appeal to his political partisans," Cruz claimed.

Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.

Filed under: Gun rights • TV-State of the Union
soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. Pete

    Go ahead republicans balk on the presidents proposals in gun legislation because it'll be another nail in your political coffins...You'd think you'd smartin up but even after losing the election and a number of seats in gerryrigged districts to democrates you'd think you'd act differently but no,a snake never changes only shedding his skin but always a snake,so watch out republicans your end is definitly near,remember midterms ,not as far away as you think!!

    January 20, 2013 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  2. CanadaONE

    It is a sign from GOD to the RNA and Americans who think guns is RIGHt!

    God is telling them to STOP – read headline

    "5 injured after firearms go off at Ohio, N.C., Indiana gun shows"

    the majority of Americans are on the right track to REMOVE guns from their society before it is too late

    January 20, 2013 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  3. Thomas

    The Founding Fathers on the Second Amendment ,
    Correct me if I'm wrong , Were they not referring to muzzle loader weapons . They had no comprehension of 30 round magazines , assault weapons or why one has the right to carry a concealed weapon into a fast food restaurant .

    Every Mayor and Law enforcement official in all major citys supports the President , yet the NRA is lobbying against it ?

    January 20, 2013 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  4. vic , nashville ,tn

    Past two moths I have observed still few republicans appeared in FOX news dividing the nation. They have to avoid some statements
    Example African Americans, Latinos and Asian Americans are liberals, some doctor’s association supporting gun controls, Unions, women, LGBT are for democrats

    Now its look like republicans are representing only for tea party and NRA. That must change they have to attract every one other wise GOP will remain regional party

    First step republicans must support universal back ground check

    January 20, 2013 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  5. Slowgun

    The NRA supports my rights to own a bazooka. (for target practice of course)

    January 20, 2013 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  6. Jonquil

    Who could be against a mandatory background check, for all gun purchases? How could this possibly divide anyone?

    January 20, 2013 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  7. Randy, San Francisco

    Republicans should agree with strict interpretation of the second amendent: the right to bear arms, meaning rifles and pistols using only flintflock technology in the 18th century.

    January 20, 2013 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  8. trex

    ...............Double barelled SHOTGUNS...............OK
    ...............Bolt action hunting Rifles......................OK
    ........AK-47's...............expanded clips...............all semi automatics............................................NOT OK................

    January 20, 2013 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  9. ljarmy84

    All semiautomatics OK......All machine guns OK if registered!!!!

    January 20, 2013 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  10. Rick McDaniel

    No way, Obama is going to get his gun proposals passed............they violate the Constitution of the U.S.

    January 20, 2013 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  11. lottie

    it is easier to buy a gun than to vote in this country as observer by the hours of waiting this past election. Republicans don't seem to mind being obstructionist when it comes to the vote. What's wrong with this picture?????

    January 20, 2013 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |