Biden says McConnell is ‘rational Republican’ to work on gun control with, warns executive options are limited


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President Biden pointed to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Sen. John Cornyn as Republicans he believes he can work with on gun control.

Biden said there was a chance for compromise on gun control with “rational Republicans” such as McConnell, R-Ky., and Cornyn, R-Texas, during remarks to reporters Monday, though he warned that there is not much he can do on his own through executive action.

The president pointed to the possibility of expanding background checks and limiting the sale of certain weapons, noting that such proposals would have to come from legislative negotiation with the GOP and is not something he could do unilaterally. 

But Biden expressed optimism that some Republicans may be willing to take his side on the issue after McConnell directed Cornyn to attempt to work with the White House on a potential compromise, arguing that some members of the GOP believe that the current gun violence cannot go unchecked.


President Biden shakes hands with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
(Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The president’s remarks come after multiple shootings over the last week, starting with the Uvalde, Texas, shooting at Robb Elementary School that left 21 dead and 18 injured.  The violence continued into the holiday weekend when a gunman in Tennessee opened fire in the downtown Chattanooga area, leaving six people injured.

Biden called for gun control legislation after the Uvalde shooting, arguing that the government can work to prevent similar acts of violence in the future.

Children run to safety after escaping through a window during a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School.

Children run to safety after escaping through a window during a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School.
(Pete Luna/Uvalde Leader-News/Handout via Reuters)

“As a nation, we have to ask, when in God’s name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby? When in God’s name, will we do what we know in our gut what needs to be done?” Biden said last week.


“We have to act. Don’t tell me we can’t have an impact on this carnage,” he added.



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