May 30, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Biden believes "rational Republicans" could move on gun control

President Joe Biden speaks to the media on the South Lawn of the White House. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

President Biden told reporters Monday that "rational Republicans" could act on some gun control in the wake of the recent mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas.

Driving the news: "I think things have gotten so bad that everybody is getting more rational about it,” Biden said. "At least that’s my hope."

Context: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told CNN on Thursday that he met with Texas Sen. John Cornyn and encouraged him to speak with Democrats to find a compromise on legislation in response to the Texas shooting.

  • Biden said Monday he would welcome congressional action gun control. He specifically called McConnell "a rational Republican" and that Cornyn may be one, too, and there is a "recognition on their part that they can't continue like this."

Yes, but: Biden said he has not spoken with Republicans yet about finding a compromise on gun control, “but my guess is ... they’re going to have to take a hard look.”

  • "I know I have responsibility. I can do the things I've done," he said but noted the constitution gives only Congress the power to change the laws. "I can't outlaw a weapon. I can't change the background checks."

The big picture: Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) told ABC's "This Week" on Sunday that there are "many more Republicans willing to talk" about gun control legislation than he'd seen before, Axios Ivana Saric reports.

  • "Every single time after one of these mass shootings, there's talks in Washington and they never succeed," Murphy said. "But there are more Republicans interested in talking about finding a path forward this time than I have ever seen" since the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
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