Mon Jan 14, 2013, 04:02 PM
Sunlei (16,946 posts)
News Conference by the President ,11:39 A.M. EST For Immediate Release January 14, 2013
Q I wanted to ask about gun violence. Today marks the one-year -- or one-month anniversary of the shooting in Newtown, which seemed to generate some momentum for reinstating the assault weapons ban. But there’s been fresh opposition to that ban from the NRA. And even Harry Reid has said that he questions whether it could pass Congress. Given that, how hard will you push for an assault weapons ban? And if one cannot pass Congress, what other measures would need to be included in a broad package in order to curb gun violence successfully?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, as I said, the Vice President and a number of members of my Cabinet went through a very thorough process over the last month, meeting with a lot of stakeholders in this including the NRA, listened to proposals from all quarters, and they’ve presented me now with a list of sensible, common-sense steps that can be taken to make sure that the kinds of violence we saw at Newtown doesn't happen again.
I’m going to be meeting with the Vice President today. I expect to have a fuller presentation later in the week to give people some specifics about what I think we need to do.
My starting point is not to worry about the politics; my starting point is to focus on what makes sense, what works; what should we be doing to make sure that our children are safe and that we’re reducing the incidents of gun violence. And I think we can do that in a sensible way that comports with the Second Amendment.
And then members of Congress I think are going to have to have a debate and examine their own conscience -- because if, in fact -- and I believe this is true -- everybody across party lines was.....continued at link below
Q Can a package be discussed to allow an assault weapons ban?
Q Thank you, sir. As you know, the Senate Democrats, Harry Reid sent you a letter begging you, essentially, to take -- consider some sort of executive action on this debt ceiling issue. I know you’ve said you’re not negotiating on it. Your administration has ruled out the various ideas that have been out there -- the 14th Amendment. But just this morning, one of the House Democratic leaders, Jim Clyburn, asked you to use the 14th Amendment and even said, sometimes that’s what it takes. He brought up the Emancipation Proclamation as saying it took executive action when Congress wouldn’t act, and he compared the debt ceiling to that. So are you considering a plan B, and if not, why not?
Q You just outlined an entire rationale for why this can't happen.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes.
Q And if -- then if -- and you're not negotiating on the debt ceiling.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes.
Q So you're not negotiating and they say you have to negotiate, and you're not considering another plan B, then do you just wait it out and we do go -- we do see all these things happen?
Q No plan B? You're not searching for any other --
Q Thank you, Mr. President. As you well know, sir, finding votes for the debt ceiling can sometimes be complicated.
You, yourself, as a member of the Senate, voted against a debt ceiling increase. And in previous aspects of American history -- President Reagan in 1985, President George Herbert Walker Bush in 1990, President Clinton in 1997 -- all signed deficit reduction deals that were contingent upon or in the context of raising the debt ceiling. You, yourself, four times have done that. Three times, those were related to deficit reduction or budget maneuvers.
What Chuck and I and I think many people are curious about is this new, adamant desire on your part not to negotiate, when that seems to conflict with the entire history in the modern era of American Presidents and the debt ceiling, and your own history on the debt ceiling. And doesn’t that suggest that we are going to go into a default situation because no one is talking to each other about how to resolve this?
Q (Inaudible) -- open to a one-to-three-month extension to the debt ceiling -- whatever Congress sends you, you’re okay with it?
THE PRESIDENT: -- and we shouldn’t be doing this on a one to three-month timeframe. Why would we do that? This is the United States of America, Major. What, we can’t manage our affairs in such a way that we pay our bills and we provide some certainty in terms of how we pay our bills?
Look, I don’t think anybody would consider my position unreasonable here. I have --
Q But why does it presuppose the need to negotiate and talk about this on a daily basis? Because if default is the biggest threat to the economy, why not talk about it --
THE PRESIDENT: Major, I am happy to have a conversation about how we reduce our deficits. I’m not going to have a monthly or every-three-months conversation about.........
Entire Presser, more questions and Presidents answers to above questions at link here-
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News Conference by the President ,11:39 A.M. EST For Immediate Release January 14, 2013 (Original post)