CHICAGO (CBS) — Mayor Rahm Emanuel said, by failing to pass expanded background checks for gun sales, Congress has let politics has get in the way of what should be elected officials’ first priority: protecting the public.

WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports the U.S. Senate on Wednesday rejected legislation to require background checks for gun sales conducted at gun shows and online.

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In a written statement after the vote, Emanuel said the city “cannot allow Washington’s dysfunction and the voices of special interests delay our work to promote the safety of Chicago’s children and communities. “

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The mayor pledged to continue pushing for gun laws at the state level, but he stressed Congressional action is needed, too.

The mayor said if there are lawmakers who feel they cannot politically risk backing gun legislation and immigration reform, he has a message:

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“When anybody says, ‘Well, we can’t do both,’ well my kids do math and history. Try doing both. It’s a cop-out, and Washington has copped out, and continually cops out in meeting the country’s challenges.”