White House press secretary Sarah Sanders downplayed the chances that President Trump signs any bill that’s sent to him regarding gun control or increasing safety in the nation’s schools.
Trump held an hour-long meeting Wednesday at the White House that ruffled Republican feathers because he often sided with Democrats on potential gun control policies. Trump supported expanding background checks and made waves when he downplayed the importance of due process when it comes to seizing firearms from people who could be seen as a danger to themselves or others.
Trump urged the gathered lawmakers to send him a bill, but Sanders said that shouldn’t be taken as a set-in-stone promise to sign it.
"The president is not going to unilaterally say (that) without seeing that piece of legislation,” Sanders said. “But he does want Congress to come together and put forward a piece of legislation that addresses the safety in schools and gun violence specifically, and he laid out a number of things he would like to see in that. And so, we're hoping Congress will continue working with us and put a strong piece of legislation forward.”
The comment seems to be laying out a gun control path similar to the one taken during an immigration debate earlier this year.
Trump held a wide-ranging meeting on the future of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in January and promised to sign any bill lawmakers sent him, even assuring them he would be willing to take the heat from his base.
But, when the legislative fight came, the White House attacked bipartisan compromises and pushed for a bill that ended up being too hardline for a majority of senators to back. The bipartisan compromises the White House worked to kill ended up getting more votes in the Senate than Trump’s preferred proposal, which would have curbed legal immigration.
During Wednesday’s meeting, Trump chided lawmakers in his party for being afraid of the National Rifle Association and backed a proposal to raise the legal age for buying a rifle from 18 to 21.
His statements shocked many in his own party and thrilled Democrats, including some in the White House meeting who were seen pumping their fists or smiling at his proposals.