As the prospects for gun-control legislation grow dimmer, President Obama said Congress should put aside politics and approve gun restrictions to protect children.
"The key for me is, every once in a while, we're confronted with an issue that should transcend politics," Mr. Obama said on NBC's "Today" show Wednesday. "Now is the time for us to take some measure of action that's going to prevent some of these tragedies from happening again."
The Senate is scheduled to vote Wednesday afternoon on a measure to expand background checks on gun purchases, but a sponsor of the amendment, Sen. Joe Manchin III, West Virginia Democrat, told NBC on Wednesday morning that supporters still don't have the 60 votes needed to pass the legislation. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, has scheduled votes on other gun-control proposals, including bans on certain types of guns and magazines.
Asked by "Today" co-host Savannah Guthrie if he feels personally responsible to the parents of children who were killed in the Newtown, Conn., school massacre, Mr. Obama replied, "I feel personally responsible the same way I hope every parent out there feels responsible for all our kids."
The interview was recorded Monday at the White House.
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