President Joe Biden pledged to meet with Congress to discuss gun policy after members return to Washington, D.C. Photo by Oliver Contreras/UPI | License Photo
May 31 (UPI) -- President Joe Biden on Tuesday promised to meet with members of Congress on gun policy, one week after a shooting at a Texas elementary school left 21 people dead.
His comment came after a bilateral meeting with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at the White House. Biden didn't elaborate on when a meeting would take place or with whom.
"I will meet with Congress on guns, I promise you," he told reporters in the Oval Office.
Hours after the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, that killed 19 students and two teachers May 24, Biden called on Congress to pass new gun control legislation.
He said the U.S. government should take a stand against the gun lobby and gun manufacturers, whom he blamed for marketing assault weapons.
"We have to act," he said. "And don't tell me we can't have an impact on this carnage. I spent my career as a senator and a vice president working to pass common-sense gun laws. We can't and won't prevent every tragedy, but we know they work and have a positive impact."
Members of Congress were in their home states on recess Tuesday and were expected to return to Washington, D.C., next week.
Biden said Monday he thinks lawmakers are "going to have to take a hard look." He said he also expects Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell and Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, to negotiate with Democrats.
"I think there's a recognition in their part that ... we can't continue like this. We can't do this," Biden said.
Cornyn and Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., who gave an impassioned plea for more gun restrictions on the Senate floor last week, announced they plan to meet over Zoom on Tuesday to discuss gun policy.
Family members began laying the Uvalde victims to rest Tuesday with the funerals for Amerie Jo Garza and Maite Rodriguez. Memorial services for Jose Flores Jr. and teacher Irma Garcia were scheduled for Wednesday.
Mourners gather at a memorial of flowers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on May 30, 2022. A mass shooting days before left 19 children and two adults dead at the elementary school. Photo by Jon Farina/UPI | License Photo