WAMC caught up with Massachusetts Congressman Richard Neal, a Democrat. He addressed various topics, including federal gun control reforms. Neal says he supports President Obama’s call for a range of gun control measures, but says his fellow Democrats shouldn’t take an all-or-nothing stance when bargaining with Republicans.
“I don’t know any of us on the Democratic side who are pursuing the argument that we want to take the guns away from legitimate sportsmen and hunters or gun collectors," he said. "But I think we can all agree on mental health background checks. I think we can all agree on closing some of the loopholes at these gun shows. And to be very frank,be cause you know in 1994 I voted for that assault weapons ban, and I don’t think that’s an unreasonable position either. Whether or not that part of it can be accomplished, I think that’s uphill.”
Neal also spoke about the state of the GOP, which voted to extend the debt ceiling limit through May Wednesday.
“Their brand is now very difficult to sell to the American people. A quick example, you can see that President Obama has dug in on some of these questions—his number has gone up with voters, and their number has gone down. So I think they have to reshape the message that they’re offering to the American people.”
Neal also addressed a recent victory in his long battle against the Alternative Minimum Tax.
“I had a chance to congratulate Vice President Biden for the decision to rid the code of it for middle income people, so chances are pretty good now that you will never pay minimum tax again if you are a middle-income American. And in fact, 28 million families will never pay alternative minimum tax again, and in Massachusetts one million families will never pay alternative minimum tax again.”