Despite the recent congressional failure to pass a comprehensive bill to strengthen gun safety laws, Vice President Joe Biden insisted Tuesday that the Obama administration has "not given up" on the pursuit of tougher gun laws - and that the momentum is actually moving in his favor.
The vice president, addressing gun safety in remarks at the White House, touted the administration's progress in enacting a series of executive actions aimed at reducing gun violence in America: Of the 23 he recommended to the president, Biden said, 21 have either been completed or are well on their way to completion. Among those steps include an end to the freeze on gun violence research; the creation of standardized emergency guidelines for schools and places of worship; the strengthening of existing background checks, and increased access to mental health care.
"We've made significant progress," Biden said. Still, he said, "as proud as I am of the progress we've made, we need Congress to act. The American people are demanding it."
Biden acknowledged that 41 Republicans and four Democrats voted against the wide-ranging legislation that was struck down in the Senate last spring. But since then, he argued, opponents of that legislation have seen their poll ratings slip.
"I am optimistic," he said. "Look at those who voted no... Many who were popular, [with ratings in the] 50s or 60s now find their favorable ratings in the 40s. The country's changed."
Biden said he had since heard from those who voted no asking him to "find a way to revisit" the issue.
"And so that's exactly what we're going to be doing," he said. "We got a majority, but not the supermajority needed. But we will get it. We will be back."