White House works on Immigration, Gun Control, & Budget; it's unclear which issue will take center stage
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — Vice president Biden speaks at a gun violence conference in Connecticut today - in the same place 20 children died when a gunman burst into their school.
Even with big budget cuts are looming, the White House is trying to keep the pressure on Congress to deal with gun violence.
In Connecticut today, Vice President Biden will likely make this point again.
"The weapon used by the young man used to killing those 20 innocent, beautiful babies, up in Newtown, that weapon is not necessary for your self-defense," said Vice President Joe Biden.
But it's these comments that raised eyebrows. "Buy a shotgun, buy a shotgun. Put that double-barreled shotgun, and fire two blasts outside the house," said Vice President Joe Biden.
The White House explained. "The point he was making is that you do not need a military-style assault weapon, and that a shotgun would do the trick," said Jay Carney, White House Press Secretary.
But a ban on assault weapons is unlikely. "An assault weapons ban will not bass the Congress of the United States.
"Increased background checks, closing loopholes, other things like that. That's fine," said Senator John McCain, Arizona.
But the question is whether gun control will even come up for a vote. Right now, Washington is laser-focused on preventing those $85 billion in budget cuts, now just days away.
Then there's immigration reform. "My hope is that we can get votes on all these items," said President Barack Obama.
Immigration caused heated exchanges at John McCain's town hall in Arizona.
And it could eclipse any quick action on gun control.