Top aide: 'The president is not circumventing Congress' on gun control

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Senior White House adviser Valerie Jarrett said early Tuesday that President Obama is not bypassing Congress by taking executive action on gun control.

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“Let’s be specific – the president is not circumventing Congress,” she told host Chris Cuomo on CNN’s “New Day.”

“They have made it very clear they are not going to act [and] the president is doing what is well within his executive authority to do,” Jarrett continued.

“There is a lot that we can do in the executive branch that we are doing [but] there is lots of room for working with Congress and they are important to the successful implementation of what the president is opposing today.”

Jarrett argued that Obama is using his presidential powers to strengthen firearms regulations after Republicans repeatedly blocked his past efforts.

“We are trying to keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them [and] we want to keep our communities safe,” she said.

“Obviously, the president made a very strong effort to work with Congress,” Jarrett continued. “We just had a hard time getting Republicans to take what most people think are reasonable steps.

“The president has determined he is going to do whatever he can to keep guns out of the wrong hands,” the senior White House adviser added.

Obama is announcing his unilateral action on gun control Tuesday in a move that will trigger a major election-year battle with Republicans.

The expected orders will expand the definition of licensed gun dealers to those who sell firearms at gun shows and online, closing a loophole on federal background checks. 

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