Before President Obama can even launch his campaign-style blitz for new gun control measures, there are strong indications that any comprehensive legislation restricting weapons and ammunition won’t even see a vote on the House floor, reports Politico. Interviews with House Republicans from the Midwest and Northeast reveal almost zero appetite to vote on any sort of sweeping gun bill. In the month after the school shooting in Newtown, Ct., none has brought up the issue with Speaker John Boehner. Without internal pressure from such center-right Republicans, and given his difficulties with restive conservatives in his conference, Boehner would seem to have little political incentive to move on guns.
That may leave the president with few options besides focusing on background checks and what he can accomplish by executive action. For all the coverage devoted to how much political capital Obama will spend on the hot-button issue and the details of what Vice President Joe Biden’s task force will come up with, the political realities of Congress have gotten short shrift. Leaders in both chambers have stalled on the issue, using the Biden commission as cover to not weigh in definitively. Even if Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid were to attempt to muscle through a bill — no sure thing given his own ties to the National Rifle Association and the many red-state Senate Democrats up for reelection next year — there is only the most minimal support among rank-and-file House Republicans for gun control.