What we’re reading: Monday, December 17, 2012

Updated
By msnbc staff
U.S. President Barack Obama speaks at an interfaith vigil for the shooting victims from Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 16, 2012 at Newtown High...
U.S. President Barack Obama speaks at an interfaith vigil for the shooting victims from Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 16, 2012 at Newtown High...
Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images

As the country struggles to deal with the aftermath of Friday’s shooting in Newtown, CT., that took the lives of 20 children and six educators, lawmakers are speaking out on America’s gun culture. “These tragedies must end,” said President Obama. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said on Meet the Press Sunday that she will introduce an assault weapons ban on the first day of the new Congress. And Senator Joe Manchin (R-W.Va.), who has an “A” rating from the NRA, also called for an assault weapons ban Monday on Morning Joe. 

Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) took to the Chicago Tribune’s editorial page to ask “What will it take for a majority of Americans to speak out for a sensible firearms policy in our nation?,”

calling for ”reasonable limits on gun ownership and weapons.” And the Washington Post’s Aaron Blake identified “The six most important people in the looming gun control debate,” with Obama, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Feinstein expected to lead the charge.

A breakthrough in the fiscal cliff talks may be on the horizon, with Obama and Speaker John Boehner meeting Monday at the White House after Boehner proposed Friday to let tax rates rise for people making $1 million or more, upping the revenue target to $1 trillion over 10 years.

Governor Nikki Haley named Rep. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) to Sen. Jim DeMint’s Senate seat Monday, making him only the seventh African-American to serve in the U.S. Senate.

And Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will not be testifying at this week’s Benghazi hearings. Clinton fainted and suffered a concussion Saturday as a result of dehydration stemming from a stomach virus, according to the State Department.

What we're reading: Monday, December 17, 2012

Updated