Obama ducks and hides again

Mar 10, 2013 by

WASHINGTON (AP) — With gun legislation taking shape on Capitol Hill, President Barack Obama has kept a low profile on an issue he has made a critical part of his second-term agenda.

The president has not been highly visible in the debate during the past three weeks as gun bills are being written. He’s been embroiled in a budget battle that has dominated his time and for now is letting Vice President Joe Biden bang the drum for tighter firearms laws.

White House officials say the president plans to speak out on gun control as the issue moves toward a Senate vote in the coming weeks. But for now, he’s staying out of delicate negotiations among lawmakers. The White House says he will become more vocal if the legislative process hits a roadblock.

Obama called for a gun control vote in his State of the Union address on Feb. 12 and followed up three days later with a speech on shooting violence in his murder-plagued hometown of Chicago. He’s barely mentioned gun control publicly in the time since, other than during a minute of remarks Thursday, shortly after a Senate committee approved a bill to increase gun trafficking penalties. He thanked the senators who supported it and urged other lawmakers to pass it into law.

“I urge Congress to move on other areas that have support of the American people – from requiring universal background checks to getting assault weapons off our streets – because we need to stop the flow of illegal guns to criminals,” Obama said before signing a revitalized Violence Against Women Act. The Senate Judiciary Committee plans to resume voting on gun bills Tuesday, including an assault weapons ban and background checks that Obama wants.

Biden, a multi-decade veteran of negotiations over gun laws, has been more vocal in the White House’s gun-control campaign with speeches, interviews and private negotiations.

via News from The Associated Press.

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