Biden Renews Call for Gun Control Action After Michigan Mass Shooting

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden told his annual meeting with county leaders Tuesday that there is much more work to be done on gun control legislation, such as banning assault weapons, which are commonly used in most mass shootings.

The call for gun control came again after a shooting at a Michigan State University school late Monday night that killed three students and wounded five others. Tuesday also marked five years since the deadly shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida that killed 14 students and three teachers at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School.

“This is the worst family nightmare,” Biden said of the Michigan shooting.

“We have to do something to keep gun violence from tearing apart our communities,” he told the National Association of Counties conference attendees.

In a statement released ahead of his speech to county officials, Biden said that in the five years since Parkland and during his administration, he has brought Democrats and Republicans together to pass a bipartisan gun safety bill, but more needs to be done.

“I once again urge Congress to pass common-sense gun law reforms, including requiring background checks on all gun sales, banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and lifting immunity for gun manufacturers who knowingly host live weapons. on our streets,” he said. said. “We owe it to all those we have lost and to all those left to grieve.”

In another statement, this time about the Michigan shooting, he said he offered Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer any federal assistance needed.

“The fact that this shooting took place the night before this country turns five years since the deadly shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida should make every American cry “enough” and demand that Congress pass measures,” he said. .

County leaders in the District of Columbia

The National Counties Association is a non-governmental organization representing over 2,300 counties and providing legislative, research, PR and technical assistance to these members.

The organization is wrapping up a five-day conference of seminars and briefings on federal policies that affect local governments such as broadband, the upcoming farm bill, workforce development, public lands, immigration and veterans’ affairs, among other issues.

As in his address to Congress last week, Biden touched on his administration’s efforts to combat the fentanyl crisis and the need for more funds for border personnel to intercept drugs, and also mentioned how officials have confiscated more than £23,000. fentanyl.

He also pointed to declining gas and fuel costs and said his administration would continue to bring inflation down. The Federal Reserve raised interest rates to slow inflation.

The US Department of Labor on Tuesday released the consumer price index for January, which measures a wide basket of common goods and services, and said inflation rose 0.05% on rising housing costs, gas and fuel prices. The CPI rose by 6.4% compared to the same period in 2022.

“The fruit and vegetable index, by contrast, fell by 0.5% over the month, while the fresh vegetable index fell by 2.3%,” the CPI says. “The index for dairy products and related products remained unchanged in January.”

Biden also hit hard at Republicans, saying some wanted to cut and shut down popular safety net programs like Social Security and Medicare.

“You may have seen the heated debate in my address to Congress,” he told those present, adding that he felt like he was “back on the playground.”

“When I call (Republicans) to this, about the state of the country, it sounded like they immediately agreed to take these cuts off the table,” he said. – I really hope for it.

Republicans have categorically said they have no plans to cut these programs, but the White House is citing Republican Senator Rick Scott of Florida’s proposal to shut down federal programs in five years unless Congress authorizes them.

Biden also acknowledged that he shares the districts’ concerns about the issue of a congressional debt ceiling and how it could affect their budgets. The question is how a divided Congress will deal with the national borrowing ceiling, known as the debt limit. Congress has until the summer to consider it.

“In fact, even approaching default will raise the cost of borrowing and/or make it difficult to fund key projects in their communities,” Biden said, referring to lawmakers.

Biden said he met with Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy and said he wanted to lay out his budget along with McCarthy’s, reach an agreement and avoid a default.

He said he knows there will still be “bumps” on the road, but he’s generally optimistic about the year ahead as legislation that Congress and the administration have been working to pass begins to roll out in states.

Last year, Biden presented his Rebuild Better plan, a massive social spending plan, and a climate plan to NACo members. The Build Back Better plan stalled in Congress, but it was later included in the Inflation Reduction Act, which Biden signed into law last year.

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