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Gun lobby: Congress doesn't have the muscle to pass gun control (+video)

A month after Sandy Hook shootings, lawmakers are scaling back expectations on what can be achieved in Congress on gun control. But Democrats are urging the White House to use executive powers.

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Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D) of Connecticut on Friday called on the Obama administration to ensure that all federal agencies are providing needed records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check system. "Many federal agencies still do not report the necessary information to the database," he wrote in a letter to Biden.

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Also on Friday, Sens. Tom  Harkin (D) of Iowa and Al Franken (D) of Minnesota, called on the Obama administration to use executive powers to expand access to mental-health and substance abuse services.

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D) of Maryland told CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday that "it's going to be very difficult" to revive the assault weapons ban. But there's a better chance of winning agreement on universal background checks and limits on high-capacity magazines, he added.

But even such measures are now in doubt, says Larry Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America on “Fox News Sunday.” "We don't think that there is much likelihood that the Congress is going to move on making gun-control laws worse than they are.”

Last week, Roll Call reported that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the campaign arm of House Democrats, launched an e-mail petition drive to support the president in taking up the gun issue, a new version of the 2012 “Have His Back” campaign.

“We hear from the White House that they are going to lay down political capital on this issue,” says Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress, speaking on "Fox News Sunday."

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