White House says Obama had limited expectations for gun violence proposals

A top White House official acknowledged Sunday that President Obama knew some of his gun-control proposal would likely be rejected but defended his efforts and called on Congress to “do the right thing.”

“The president pushed very hard,” White House adviser Dan Pfeiffer said on “Fox News Sunday.” “We knew not all of (the proposal) was going to pass right now."

With a proposed ban on semi-automatic weapons and high-capacity gun magazines off the table for now, Obama appears to be focusing his efforts, including the garnering of public support, on getting Congress to agree to universal background checks for gun buyers.

Pfeiffer said the president has “marshaled people to his side” and polls show a large majority of the public supports background checks.

“You cannot get 90 percent of the people to agree on the weather,” Pfeiffer told Fox. “The question is whether Congress is going to do the right thing.”

A final Senate bill was expected to be released this week, when Congress returns from Spring Break. But the voting could be delayed as senators wrangle over the background check issue. The legislation would come about four months after a mass shooting at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school in which 20 first-graders and six adults were killed.

Pfeiffer said the president agrees with the efforts so far of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and other senators.

“This is the best response to Newtown and gun violence in the country,” Pfeiffer said.