Vice President Joe Biden attacked the Republican Party on Saturday for blocking progress in the country.
Speaking to donors, prospective candidates and fellow elected leaders at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Issues Conference in New York City, Biden described the Republicans as “dysfunctional,” according to the White House pool report.
“The country’s ready to move and we have a House of Representatives that’s in the way right now,” Biden said.
He said that although Democrats won a “decisive victory” in November, it’s “quite clear they [Republicans] didn’t get the message” — or, “they got the message and they don’t think it matters.”
“There is no leadership,” Biden said of the GOP. “There is nobody you can sit across the table from and shake hands, make a deal with.”
Biden said there have been five occasions in which he negotiated with House leaders only to receive a call later to say, “What we agreed to Joe, we can’t do.”
“The reason this is so dysfunctional now – with whom do you make a deal? With whom do you speak to get something done?” he said.
Turning to gun control, Biden said he has “no doubt about how tough it is to get anything done on this issue.”
But, he said, “I believe this is a different time. What happened in Newtown shocked the conscience of the American public.”
He said all the media coverage will make it harder for opponents to misrepresent Democrats’ positions, including the charge that they want to take away shotguns.
“Guess what folks, they cannot come up with this malarkey and have people believe it anymore,” Biden said. “The number one thing we can do to improve gun safety is to get some of this common sense stuff done” such as universal background checks.
He referred to so-called assault weapons as “weapons of war” and said the Newtown shooter had magazines that carried 30 rounds of ammunition.
“Why the hell we can’t show the courage by standing up and doing what the American people want us to do?” Biden said, earning a round of applause.
He said members of Congress in districts with heavy support for guns are “gonna have help.”
“This is gonna be one hell of a fight,” Biden said.