Republican House Speaker John Boehner said on Thursday that he would take any recommendations from Vice President Joe Biden’s anti-gun violence commission “under advisement”—but stopped well short of committing to allow the House of Representatives to vote on gun-control measures.
When asked at a press conference if he would permit the House to vote on proposals from Biden’s commission, which began work on Thursday and is expected to unveil its advice in January, he said: “We’ll certainly take them into consideration. We join the president in mourning the victims of that horrible tragedy in Connecticut.” When asked again, he said they will take them under "advisement."
The speaker’s remarks were notable, in part, because President Barack Obama has already pushed Congress to vote quickly on a series of gun-control measures in 2013.
“A majority of Americans support banning the sale of military-style assault weapons," Obama said on Wednesday. "A majority of Americans support banning the sale of high-capacity ammunition clips. A majority of Americans support laws requiring background checks before all gun purchases, so that criminals can’t take advantage of legal loopholes to buy a gun from somebody who won’t take the responsibility of doing a background check at all."
Biden's commission is also expected to look at other ideas, such as increasing access to mental health care, and look at the place of violence in American popular culture. But, for now at least, Boehner's comments suggest that traditional gun-control proposals aren't going anywhere.