Surrounded by school children from across the country who wrote in after last month’s school shooting, President Obama will present a package of legislative proposals and executive actions today that the White House is selling as “the most comprehensive federal regulations of the firearms industry since 1968.”
But don’t expect any of it to make it through Congress.
Outside of the most liberal House and Senate members there simply is zero interest in pursuing gun control legislation this year. “Let’s be realistic,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told PBS this weekend. “In the Senate, we’re going to do what we think can get through the House and I’m not going to go through a bunch of these gyrations just to say we’ve done something. … Is it something that can pass the Senate? Maybe. Is it something that can pass the House? I doubt it.”
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., was equally dismissive on CNN Sunday, “An assault-weapons stand-alone ban on just guns alone, in the political reality we have, will not go anywhere.” And Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., who is up for reelection in 2014, told The Argus Leader that states should handle gun control.
If the Senate does not move first, don’t expect the House to move at all. Rep. Charlie Dent, R-Pa., who represents a moderate Republican district that includes Allentown sees no need to antagonize his constituents. “This AR-15 that they’re all talking about is one of the most popular hunting rifles in the country,” Dent told Politico.
Reid has made it clear that immigration will be his first priority in the Senate. And the timeline there is daunting. Three months to hold hearings, three months to write the bill, votes by summer at the earliest.
By that time gun control will be all but forgotten.
From The Washington Examiner
Examiner Editorial: Head Start finally gets tested — and flunks
Tim Carney: As subsidies shrink, investors flee green energy
Michael Barone: Ivory-tower Obama can’t abide views he doesn’t share
Byron York: Once a critic of deficits, Obama now goes for broke
Philip Klein: The only times Obama has agreed to cut spending are in times of crisis
In Other News
The Hill, House GOP to decide debt-ceiling strategy at its annual retreat: House Republican leaders are weighing several options for legislation that would combine an increase in the debt ceiling with cuts to federal spending. Party leaders hope the rank and file will coalesce around a strategy at the annual House GOP retreat, which begins Wednesday in Williamsburg, Va.
The Wall Street Journal, Spotty Records Weaken Background Checks: The National Instant Criminal Background Check System, which federally licensed firearm dealers must use to check the credentials of potential gun buyers, doesn’t include millions of people legally barred from owning guns, researchers and advocates say. Fourteen states list fewer than five people flagged for mental-health issues.
The Washington Post, U.S. weighs military support for France’s campaign against Mali militants: The Obama administration is considering significant military backing for France’s drive against al-Qaeda-linked militants in Mali, but its support for a major ally could test U.S. legal boundaries and stretch counterterrorism resources in a murky new conflict.
Fairbanks Daily News, Murkowski says country must pay its bills: Sen. Lisa Murkowski is breaking with Republican leadership in the debate about raising the U.S. debt ceiling, saying the country has a duty to assure it can pay its bills.
The Washington Post, House approves Hurricane Sandy relief package: The House on Tuesday approved about $50 billion in relief for victims of Hurricane Sandy, a package designed to speed aid to devastated communities in New York and New Jersey and a vote that provided an early test of the resolve of GOP deficit hawks.
The Denver Post, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to leave cabinet position in March: Interior Secretary Ken Salazar will step down from his cabinet position in the Obama administration and return to Colorado to spend time with his family.
The New York Times, States Will Be Given Extra Time to Set Up Health Insurance Exchanges: The White House says it will give states more time to comply with the new health care law after finding that many states lag in setting up markets where millions of Americans are expected to buy subsidized private health insurance.
Roger Kimball on how government bureaucrats are preventing him from rebuilding his New Jersey home.
Ramesh Ponnuru on What Republicans Misunderstand About Health-Care Costs
Jim Geraghty reports that Mark Sanford is running for Congress.
Think Progress claims Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s new tax reform plan will raise taxes on the bottom 80 percent of residents.
Sarah Kliff reports that the fiscal cliff deal also killed the Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans created by Obamacare.
Greg Sargent predicts Boehner will allow a clean debt limit hike to pass with mostly Democratic votes.