In “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” appearance, Biden urges people to make guns ‘a voting issue’

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President Biden made his first studio appearance on a late-night talk show Wednesday, discussing gun control and other issues with host Jimmy Kimmel in Los Angeles.

The episode of “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” began with Kimmel asking why gun violence is still rampant in the United States, noting that there have already been two dozen school shootings this year. Biden recalled his recent visit to Uvalde, Texas, where two weeks ago a gunman killed 19 children and two teachers at Robb Elementary School – and where the president was urged to “do something!”

“A lot of it is bullying by the NRA,” Biden said, referring to the National Rifle Association, explaining why there was no movement on federal gun legislation. fire. The House passed several gun control measures Wednesday night in response to recent shootings in Uvalde, Buffalo and elsewhere, but they are not expected to pass the Senate due to GOP opposition.

“It’s not your father’s Republican party,” Biden added, saying he thought many Republican lawmakers feared that supporting “rational gun policy” would result in defeat to a far-right opponent in a GOP primary election.

At one point, Biden turned to the studio audience and urged them to make gun control a voting issue.

“You have to make sure it becomes a voting issue. This has to be one of those questions where you decide your position on the question of the senator or the candidate for the House or the Senate, on what we are going to do with the assault weapons. … What you say about these things is going to determine how I vote for you,” Biden said. “That should be one of those issues.”

The House approved aggressive gun control measures in a vote of 223 to 204 on June 8. (Video: The Washington Post)

Biden also defended his record when Kimmel — a Democratic Party donor who contributed to Biden’s 2020 campaign — pushed him to explain why the administration hadn’t done more. Biden said he didn’t issue more executive orders, including on guns, because he didn’t want to “imitate Trump’s abuse of the Constitution and constitutional authority.”

Kimmel backtracked slightly, saying many Democrats were frustrated because “we got out and voted.”

“We’ve won the House, the Senate, the White House, obviously, and we’ve still made very little progress as far as I’m concerned when it comes to guns, obviously, reproductive rights, voting rights, climate change — all of those things,” Kimmel said.

Biden has argued that his administration has made limited progress on climate and said he is reviewing executive orders he could issue if the Supreme Court overturns Roe vs. Wade. But he also suggested that any new restrictions on abortion could only be undone at the ballot box.

Whether deer falls, “it’s going to cause a mini-revolution and they’re going to get a lot of these people elected,” he said.

John Wagner contributed to this report.

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