Top Republican and Democratic senators signaled a reluctance last week to involve the White House in an upcoming slate of gun control legislation, which seeks to address a string of mass shootings over the past month, The Hill reported.
President Joe Biden initially called for a response from Congress on gun violence last Thursday — specifically, advocating universal background checks, a ban on so-called assault weapons and raising the minimum purchasing age of most rifles to 21.
Biden also called for implementing federal red-flag laws, prohibiting high-capacity magazines, and repealing the liability shield for gun manufacturers and dealers.
On Sunday, Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., suggested on a CNN interview that Democrats in Congress believe talks have a better chance of delivering without the Biden administration's involvement.
"I think the Senate needs to do this ourselves," Murphy told the network. "I have talked to the White House every single day since these negotiations began. But right now, the Senate needs to handle these negotiations."
Meanwhile, Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., said Sunday that the president was "not being very helpful" to the cause of forwarding bipartisan gun reform after his Thursday address.
"This is going to come down to whether we can reach a consensus in the United States Senate," the retiring Pennsylvania senator said.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters a day later that the administration "would respectfully disagree with Sen. Toomey," adding that the president was "encouraged by the discussions" between all parties.
"He can't do it all alone, right? He has taken some actions, some executive actions," Jean-Pierre said. "And he believes that Congress should continue to act, and we are going to see how the negotiations go. We're going to give it the space it needs."
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