Reid indefinitely shelving gun legislation; Obama returning to executive actions

posted at 4:01 pm on April 18, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

After Wednesday’s failed gun-control vote in the Senate, President Obama (rather petulantly) insisted that “this effort is not over” — but from here on out, he might have to go Lone Ranger on that one, at least for now. Continuing to push on further gun-control measures might be doing Democrats more 2014-related harm than good; Sen. Toomey said this morning that he’s looking to back off in favor “other issues we have to deal,” and it sounds like Harry Reid might be feeling the same way:

Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) announced Thursday that the Senate will “take a pause” and return to consideration of gun legislation at a later date.

“Yesterday, President Obama said it was a shameful day for the Senate, and it probably was, I agree. But we should make no mistake: This debate is not over, in fact this fight is just beginning,” Reid said on the Senate floor Thursday. …

Reid said Thursday the Senate would “take a pause and freeze the background check bill where it is” and return to it at an undetermined date, likely with consideration of other proposed amendments.

And if even Obama’s epic scolding wasn’t enough to convince the Senate to keep working, it’s all up to him to Do Something and try to further shame those criminal-empowering, child safety-dismissing Republicans. Ergo, as Biden revealed in a conference call this morning, the White House is pivoting back to some of the executive actions they outlined back in January, per BuzzFeed:

“Look, I know you’re going to say that I’m just being an optimist and I’m trying to put a good face on this. But, you know, I’ve been around here a long time and we’ve already done, because of you, some really good things,” Biden said. “Number one, the president is already lining up some additional executive actions he’s going to be taking later this week.” …

Biden mentioned several areas where executive action has been taken, including helping schools that want them to hire more armed police offers and training teachers to identify and treat possible future school shooters.  …

Update: A White House official told BuzzFeed the executive actions Biden was referring to on the call are part of Obama’s original list of 23 executive actions on guns announced in January.

As Ed summarized at the time, the White House’s gun-control proposals looked more like furious railing against political impotence than anything else, but President Obama has made too big a deal out of this to allow nothing to happen and look like he’s stuck in lame-duck territory. I’m sure we’ll be hearing more specifics shortly.


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