Biden has given up.
Despite growing calls for stricter gun controls following two deadly mass shootings in less than two weeks, President Joe Biden washed his hands of taking any executive action to outlaw a weapon, saying the responsibility lies with Congress.
Speaking to reporters on the White House South Lawn on Monday (May 30), Biden said, “I can do the things I’ve done — and any executive action I can take, I’ll continue to take. But I can’t outlaw a weapon. I can’t change a background check. I can’t do that.”
When questioned by reporters about his optimism that Republicans will get on board with a deal to stop gun violence following Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell revealing he tasked Sen. John Cornyn with finding a bipartisan, Biden responded, “I don’t know.”
He went on to acknowledge that both McConnell and Cornyn are “rational Republican[s],” adding that their willingness to find a solution was “recognition on their part that they — we can’t continue like this. We can’t do this.”
Biden’s remarks about McConnell also harken to days when Biden was still Vice President, at that time, the two men successfully negotiated several deals, including a deal that would keep the George W. Bush-era tax cuts in place, avoiding a so-called fiscal cliff.
But in recent days, Biden has made it clear that Senate Democrat Chris Murphy of Connecticut will be heading the efforts by Senate Democrats to negotiate gun control on Capitol Hill.
When asked about passing legislation to encourage states to pass red flag legislation — a law that would prohibit those who deem themselves a harm to themselves and others from purchasing guns — Biden said, “That’s hard to say because I have not been negotiating with any of the Republicans.”