Obama: Background check deal 'welcome and significant'

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In a statement, Obama said that, while he would prefer gun control legislation to be "stronger," the agreement represented "welcome and significant bipartisan progress."

"It recognizes that there are good people on both sides of this issue, and we don’t have to agree on everything to know that we’ve got to do something to stem the tide of gun violence," Obama said.

But the president cautioned that "a lot of work remains" before a deal is reached. He warned again that the Senate needs to overcome the threat of a Republican-led filibuster and allow the measure to come to a vote, noting that the House still has to pass the legislation. But he vowed that he would "keep asking the American people to stand up and raise their voices, because these measures deserve a vote, and so do the families and communities they're designed to protect."

The White House launched an all-out offensive on gun control this week, using the president, Vice President Biden and even first lady Michelle Obama to lobby on the issue as the Senate considers the legislation.

On Tuesday, Obama spent the afternoon calling senators on both sides of the aisle to ask them to bring the measure to a vote on the Senate floor.