White House: Bipartisanship still possible on bills, despite gun vote

April 18, 2013 at 5:06 PM
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WASHINGTON, April 18 (UPI) -- Despite criticism of Senate Republicans after a gun-control bill was defeated, President Obama thinks consensus remains on other issues, the White House said.

"[We] should be able to find similar common ground on some of the other issues that the president is hoping will move through the Congress," spokesman Josh Earnest said Thursday during the daily briefing.

"I think there's a pretty good indication that we're going to find some common ground and make some bipartisan progress on things like comprehensive immigration reform," Earnest said. "We're at the beginning of that process so we'll see how that moves forward."

On Wednesday, the Senate voted 54-46 in favor of the amendment from Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Pat Toomey, R-Pa., that would have expanded background checks to all online and gun-show sales. The amendment fell shy of the 60 votes needed to head off a threatened filibuster.

"In terms of consensus, 90 percent of the American public agrees with the president's point of view and agrees with the compromise that was put forward by Senators Toomey and Manchin," Earnest said.

"So I think we're pretty close to a consensus on this just as about everywhere except in the United States Congress," he said. "And as the president alluded to yesterday, I think that is an indication of the pernicious influence that some special interests have in the United States Congress. And that is going to require a vocalization of public opinion to overcome it."

Speaking Wednesday after the vote, Obama said senators who voted no "caved" to pressure from the National Rifle Association and that the NRA "willfully lied" about what the legislation would do.

"All in all, this was a pretty shameful day for Washington, but this effort is not over," Obama said.

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