Vice President Joe Biden vowed not to give up the fight to pass a new assault weapons ban, ahead of a meeting with New York City’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
“I’m still pushing that it pass—we are still pushing that it pass. The same thing was told to me when the first assault weapons ban in ’94 was attached to the Biden crime bill, that it couldn’t possibly pass. It was declared dead several times,” Biden told NPR.
But, it looks like an uphill battle. NRA fundraising last month was the highest it’s been in decades, $1.6 million dollars, according to Politico and FEC reports. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid moved the assault weapons ban out of the bills he’s bringing to the Senate floor, saying it only had 40 votes.
“What happened?” Chris Jansing asked Democratic congressman Charles Rangel, D-NY.
“I’m ashamed to admit it, but it’s politics and it’s money. The National Rifle Association has taken this position… but it’s really basically the absence of the voices of good people. I cannot believe that politicians are afraid of the NRA—if they thought for one minutes that the churches and synagogue and the priests and the ministers were saying, hey, do the right thing, we have your back,” Rangel said on Jansing & Co.
New York City Mayor Bloomberg gave $2 million to his own super PAC last month, according to Politico and the FEC. Rangel said the mayor’s monetary commitment is generous, but “this should not be a battle of how many dollars you can put up.”
There’s even troubling signs for a bill to mandate universal background checks considering Republican Sen. Tom Coburn backed out of negotiations with Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer. Rangel believes if the background check bill passes the Senate, it has a “pretty good shot” in the House.
“A background check I think will be hard for anybody to explain why they voted against that,” he said. “Common sense and reason should say that you don’t want dangerous weapons in the hands of people who are ill-suited, mentally to deal with it. So I think the chances are good, not because the NRA would want you to do it, but we’ve done it before, the reasons have been changed, the problems have multiplied. It’s just good common sense.”