Obama Taps Biden for Post-Newtown Action Plan
(WASHINGTON) — President Obama has tasked Vice President Joe Biden with coordinating the administration’s response to the deadly school shootings in Newtown, Conn., last week.
Biden will oversee the formulation of new policies aimed at reducing gun violence and preventing mass shootings like the one that took 26 lives at Sandy Hook Elementary School, administration officials said.
Obama is expected to formally announce the Biden-led process at the White House late Wednesday morning.
The president, who vowed “meaningful action” in the wake of last Friday’s tragedy, has faced intensifying pressure to publicly lay out his plans.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said on Tuesday that Obama is now “actively supportive” of new legislation sponsored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California that would reinstate the ban on certain types of semi-automatic weapons, and said the president may support other efforts, such as a proposal to ban high-capacity magazines.
“[The president] supports — and would support legislation that addresses the problem of the so-called gun show loophole, and there are other elements of gun law — gun legislation that he could support,” Carney said.
“People have talked about high-capacity ammunition clips, for example, and that is something, certainly, that he would be interested in looking at,” he added.
Administration officials say Obama is also interested in new ways of addressing cultural and mental health factors in gun violence.
Obama met privately on Monday with Biden and three members of his Cabinet — Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Attorney General Eric Holder and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius — to discuss steps forward in the aftermath of Newtown.
The administration has set a target of “a few weeks or a few months” for presenting those plans, while offering few additional specifics.
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