WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama says each of his proposed steps to reduce gun violence should get a vote in Congress — even an assault weapons ban that both parties agree stands little chance of passing.
Senate Democrats dropped the ban from the bill they plan to debate next month out of concern it could sink the whole package. Still, Obama says he's pushing for it.
In his weekly radio and Internet address released Saturday, Obama says the U.S. has changed in the three months since the December school shooting in Newtown, Conn., left 20 first graders and six educators dead. He says Americans support the ban, plus limits on high-capacity ammunition magazines, school security funding and a crackdown on gun trafficking.
"Today there is still genuine disagreement among well-meaning people about what steps we should take to reduce the epidemic of gun violence in this country. But you, the American people, have spoken," Obama said.
The White House said Saturday that Obama will make additional trips outside Washington to rally support for the measures, including the assault weapons ban. The White House also said that before Obama left for Israel earlier this week, his push for gun control was among the issues he raised with lawmakers from both parties as he embarked on a concerted effort to reach out to Congress.
In the Republican address, Sen. Mike Lee of Utah says the Senate Democrats' budget raises taxes by $1.5 trillion without doing anything to save entitlements like Social Security and Medicare. He says Republicans want a balanced budget that lives up to the nation's moral obligation to act in the best interest of future generations.
"Republicans recognize that keeping dollars, decisions, priorities and power in the hands of the people is what has made America the greatest civilization the world has ever known," Lee says. "Now is the time to return to that model." (ABC)