With the federal ban on assault weapons set to expire Monday and both the nation’s police chiefs and survivors of assault weapons attacks calling for its renewal, what is the president who claims to support renewal of the ban doing to prevent its expiration?
The word diddly comes to mind:
Q The assault weapons ban expires in just a few days. Can you list for us the many things the President might be doing to encourage Congress to send him the bill that he said he would sign?
MR. McCLELLAN: The President’s views have been made very clear, and the best way we can reduce crimes committed with guns is to strictly enforce our laws. And prosecutions under this administration are up. I think it’s — well, it’s more than 60 percent — I think 68 percent over the previous administration. That’s the best way to crack down on crimes committed with guns. That’s an important issue here in terms of the assault weapons ban. He’s made his views very well-known.
Q And his view is he’ll sign it if —
MR. McCLELLAN: He’s made his views known as recently as this week.
Q His view is he’ll sign it if it comes to him. Is he doing anything to make sure he —
MR. McCLELLAN: The President supports the reauthorization of current law.
Q What is he doing to actively make sure — is he doing anything to make sure he —
MR. McCLELLAN: The President doesn’t set the congressional timetable.
Q No, but he can lobby for it.
MR. McCLELLAN: Congress sets the timetable. And the President’s views are very clear.
Q Has he made any calls or anything to encourage this to happen?
MR. McCLELLAN: What we’ve continued to do — because this issue does go to the issue of crimes committed with guns, as well — and what we’ve continued to do is step up our efforts to prosecute crimes committed with guns and strictly enforce our laws. And that’s the best way we can deter violence committed with guns.
Q But he did something this week?
Q But he’s not doing anything to make sure this doesn’t lapse on the 13th?
MR. McCLELLAN: We’ll continue to make our views known.
Q You said he had done something this week.
MR. McCLELLAN: No, I said we’ve continued to make our views known. This week, as well.
Q To who?
MR. McCLELLAN: Publicly.
Q Did he speak about it publicly?
MR. McCLELLAN: We have, the White House has.