Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

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January 14, 2013

President Obama's end-of-term press conference

(Continued)

Washington, D.C. —

 
 
 
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 as deeply moved and saddened as I was by what happened in Newtown, then we’re going to have to vote based on what we think is best.  We’re going to have to come up with answers that set politics aside.  And that's what I expect Congress to do.
 
 
 
     But what you can count is, is that the things that I’ve said in the past -- the belief that we have to have stronger background checks, that we can do a much better job in terms of keeping these magazine clips with high capacity out of the hands of folks who shouldn’t have them, an assault weapons ban that is meaningful -- that those are things I continue to believe make sense. 
 
 
 
Will all of them get through this Congress?  I don’t know.  But what’s uppermost in my mind is making sure that I’m honest with the American people and with members of Congress about what I think will work, what I think is something that will make a difference.  And to repeat what I’ve said earlier -- if there is a step we can take that will save even one child from what happened in Newtown, we should take that step.
 
 
 
     Q    Can a package be discussed to allow an assault weapons ban?
 
 
 
     THE PRESIDENT:  I’ll present the details later in the week.
 
 
 
     Chuck Todd, NBC.
 
 
 
     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?

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