Vice President Joe Biden and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg are pressuring Congress to take up a gun-control bill that has currently stalled in the Senate. The vice president has scheduled a White House event with gun safety groups on June 18, marking the first time the administration has pushed for the issue since the Senate rejected the bipartisan bill that would have extended background checks to all commercial gun purchases in April.
“The Administration continues to implement President Obama’s plan to protect our children and communities by reducing gun violence,” according to the invitation.
Biden insisted that momentum for new gun control laws has not waned and that he will continue to push for legislation. “I personally haven’t given up, nor has the president,” Biden told reporters on Capitol Hill on Monday.
Meanwhile, Michael Bloomberg is urging New York donors to withhold contributions to four Democratic senators who voted down the failed bipartisan bill crafted by Sens. Joe Manchin and Pat Toomey. In a letter sent to more than 1,000 top donors in the New York area, Bloomberg asks campaign donors not to support Sens. Max Baucus, Mark Begich, Heidi Heitkamp, and Mark Pryor.
“Instead of rising above politics to pass a law that would save lives, these four senators sided with a gun lobby increasingly out of touch with Americans’ priorities,” Bloomberg wrote. “The next time these four senators want you to support them with donations to their campaigns, tell them you cannot. Until they show that they will stand up for the American people and not the gun lobby, tell them you cannot support their candidacy.”
Mayor Bloomberg’s anti-gun violence group will also launch a 100-day bus tour visiting 25 states that will kick off this Friday, six months after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings that killed 20 children and six educators. Called “No More Names: The National Drive to Reduce Gun Violence,” the bus tour will travel to thank the senators who supported the Manchin-Toomey bill and pressure those who voted against it.
Families of the Newtown victims returned to Washington this week to meet with members of Congress, including one of the co-sponsors of the bill, Sen. Joe Manchin. The families visited Capitol Hill less than a month ago after the gun bill failed to pass the Senate, and appeared alongside President Obama at the White House. Obama said it was “shameful day for Washington.”
In addition to their scheduled meetings with legislators, the Newtown families have other plans to commemorate the sad anniversary. Jillian Soto, whose sister Victoria Soto was one of the elementary school teachers killed, will hold a human “Ribbon of Remembrance” event on Thursday in front of the Capitol.