Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Wednesday dismissed as a political "cop-out" claims that Congress must choose between expanding federal background checks and passing immigration reform.
Emanuel lit into his former colleagues in Congress who believe you can't do both hours before the U.S. Senate shot down legislation that would have required background checks prior to firearms purchases online and at gun shows.
"Congress can do both of these because they are in the interest of residents throughout the city of Chicago, the state of Illinois as well as the entire country. And it's a cop-out for those in Washington to say, `We can't do both,' when both challenges require answers and Washington is responsible for helping us provide the type of safety and a path for immigration reform that's necessary," the mayor said.
"Both of `em are in the country's interests for different reasons. When anybody says, `We can't do both'--well, my kids do math and history. Try doing both. It's a cop-out. Washington has copped out and continually cops out in meeting the nation's challenges."
Emanuel made his remarks about the two heated controversies after hosting another moving ceremony for new American citizens at the Harold Washington Library.
The ceremony was the fourth hosted by the city as part of Emanuel's "New American Initiative."
As White House chief-of-staff under President Barack Obama, Emanuel was once accused of being the roadblock to immigration reform. As mayor, he's turned into a champion for it.
"I wish that the United State House of Representatives and Congress could see what I see from this seat and this vantage point. It's a mosaic of people from 30 different countries, all different languages but with one common experience and one common goal: They've come to America," Emanuel said.