One of the biggest issues facing Congress is gun control.
President Obama unveiled the most extreme gun legislation in U.S. History Wednesday, and signed 23 executive orders aimed at research, mental health, new data for background checks, and 1,000 new school police officers and counselors.
The rest of the legislation though, including an assault weapons ban and a ban on high-capacity magazines, must be passed by Congress.
Sen. Joe Donnelly, (D) Indiana, has enjoyed support from the NRA in the past, but says their opposition to the President’s bill does not influence his decision.
“I’m a supporter of the 2nd Amendment, and I believe strongly in that, but at the same time, I’m a dad,” he says. “I want to make sure that our kids can go to school and come home safely.”
He says that country needs to deal with mental health challenges and background checks, to ensure firearms do not end up in dangerous hands.
However, Congress will likely take on the topic of the debt ceiling before considering gun control legislation.
Donnelly says the question of raising the debt ceiling must be separated from the question of paying the bills the country owes. He says then Congress must consider how to shape spending cuts.
“I see it as a two-step process, and I don’t think it benefits anybody to try and affect the nation’s promise that we will pay our bills.”
He says that if Congress approves any measures which could prompt a reduced credit rating for the United States, it would be a “self-inflicted wound.”