President Joe Biden said Thursday he would work with Congress to “try to get rid of assault weapons” following a recent spate of shootings in the United States.
“The idea that (that) we still allow the purchase of semi-automatic weapons is sick, it’s just sick. It has no social redemption value, zero, none. Not a single, lonely justification for it,” Biden told reporters during a brief chatter outside the Nantucket Fire Department in Massachusetts, where he greeted first responders.
When asked if he would try to crack down on guns, the president said: “I will try. I’ll try to get rid of offensive weapons.” When asked if he would try that during the lame duck session, he said, “I’ll do it whenever — I have to make that assessment as soon as I get in and with that Start counting the votes.”
A recent shooting at an LGBTQ club in Colorado Springs, Colo., involved an assault-style weapon and a handgun, while officials said the shooter at a Chesapeake, Va. Walmart earlier this week was armed with a handgun and multiple magazines .
Congress returns next week with a jam-packed to-do list in the lame duck session, mostly focused on the much-needed government finance bill, as well as other priorities. But any gun legislation measure — notably the ban on assault weapons that Biden has repeatedly called for — doesn’t have the votes to pass. And the reality of a divided Congress in next year’s session makes it highly unlikely that anything will happen in the next two years.
The president also said he “has not engaged directly with stakeholders” as railroad and labor law negotiators steer toward a possible strike ahead of a critical December deadline.
“I can’t (comment) because it’s still in the middle of negotiations. My team has been in touch with all parties … and I haven’t — I haven’t engaged directly yet because they’re still talking,” Biden said.
Biden does not have the authority at this point in the process to unilaterally order railroad workers to stay at work, as he did in a possible railroad strike in July, and he would need to approve any action by Congress for that to take effect.
And as Ukraine grapples with damage to its critical infrastructure in the wake of Russian strikes, Biden said there is “no time to leave Ukraine” as he announced a recently announced additional $400 million withdrawal, the start of this one week was announced. The White House has also asked Congress for an additional $37.7 billion in funding for Ukraine.
“We talked a lot at the last election about whether the other team will continue to support Ukraine. I still believe there is enough support for us to continue,” he said.
He later added that talks about an oil price cap were “in play”.
Biden arrived at the Nantucket Fire Department Thursday morning and greeted a group of firefighters and others who had gathered outside, a visit that came shortly after his call to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and said he was grateful for the first responders in it Year. Biden shook hands and posed for photos and received a black Nantucket Fire Department baseball cap, which he wore during his impromptu skirmishes.
The CNN Wire
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