Washington (AP) —President Joe Biden is calling for action as the nation suffers from yet another mass shooting and faces calculations about the death of a black man by police. But beyond that, it’s much more difficult.
Three months after taking office, Biden’s strong agenda goes against the reality of his narrow Democratic majority at Capitol Hill and the limited ability of the Senate to tackle multiple large laws at once. The White House first focused on a large coronavirus bailout package, and a vast infrastructure plan that is now likely to dominate Congressional calendars for months puts issues such as gun control and police reform behind. There is a possibility of becoming.
Biden on Friday argued that this was not the case, saying “I have never prioritized this,” especially on the issue of gun control.He spoke the next day Gunmen killed eight people at the FedEx facility in Indianapolis. The latest mass shootings in the United States in recent weeks.
At issue for Biden is Washington, where issues such as his priorities and gun control have continued for years against Democratic voters, especially the black voters who helped drive him to the White House. Many of the core promises for both maneuverability in.Post-mass shootings in Chicago and the suburbs of Minneapolis, and a new focus on the killings of colored American police, heightened demands for action.
De Anna Hoskins, president and CEO of Just Leadership USA, a police reform advocacy group, suggested that activists are patient, but not long-lasting. She welcomed Biden’s recent executive order on gun control, which took modest steps to tighten background checks, but said “these actions have not progressed sufficiently.”
“They don’t have the tentacles that actually hit where the rubber hits the road,” Hoskins said.
The White House says it can publicly promote infrastructure plans and multitask while working to build support among moderate Democrats and Republicans for gun control and behind-the-scenes police reform. I am.
“In this building, the legislative team, senior members of the White House staff, we are working on multiple aspects at the same time,” said White House spokesman Jen Psaki.
Authorities say Biden’s less publicly prominent role in the legislative debate on guns and police is due to design, with the risk of further politicizing already complex negotiations. They also argued that issuing an executive order on police could undermine the momentum of the issue on Capitol Hill, including talks between Republican Senator Tim Scott and Democratic Senator Cory Booker. It is backed by lively debate in the Senate.
Still, Biden himself describes his legislative strategy as a “one at a time” approach. He said last month that a successful president would make progress because “they know how to time what they are doing, order it, decide on it, and prioritize what they need to do.” It was.
The statement implied that some priorities had to wait in turn.
Biden has taken some enforcement action against the gun, targeting a homemade “ghost gun” and a stabilizing brace of a pistol that can be fired from the shoulder like a rifle. He has promised to send such a law to Congress on the first day of his inauguration, but has not proposed a new law to revoke the liability protection of gun manufacturers or strengthen federal background checks. .. Instead, he upholds the law proposed by the House of Representatives Democratic Party.
Regarding police reforms, on Friday, Attorney General Merrick Garland lifted the Trump era restrictions on a consent decision, an agreement on court orders used to implement reforms within police stations. However, Biden has not yet taken significant executive branches and instead focuses on George Floyd justice in Capitol Hill’s police law.
Its focus has been embraced by several major police reform groups, including the Citizens and Human Rights Leadership Council, whose interim president and CEO Wade Henderson said the law is best on such unmanageable issues. He said it was an approach.
“This issue is too urgent to delay and Congress is a much better place to consider changes to police accountability legislation,” he said in a statement.
However, the bill, approved by the House of Representatives, has been submitted to the Senate, making it difficult to count the Biden White House.
Gun and police legislation cannot be considered by Congress through the budget adjustment process. This is the route the Democrats took to pass the virus bailout with only 50 votes from the party in the Senate. This is the same way it looks like it’s on track to tackle the infrastructure. This means that the Democratic Party needs 10 Republicans to participate in order to pass firearms and police laws under the current Senate procedure.
“I urge my Republican friends to refuse to submit a bill passed by Congress right now,” Biden said on Friday, referring to gun control. “Who needs a weapon that can hold 100, or 40 or 20 rounds in the name of God. It’s just wrong and I’m not going to give up until it’s done.
Key lawmakers, including Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut, are trying to design ways to avoid stalemate by involving colleagues in bipartisan talks. The House bill, which extends background checks, is similar to the one closest to passing in the aftermath of Sandy Hook’s school shootings, but Senators now have differences in regulations, including the movement of firearms between families. Is entwined with. I can’t see the breakthrough.
Democrat Steven Horsford recalled a message to the president in a two-hour private session with members of Congressional Black Caucus this week: “In the end, Congress has to do the job.” Said.
Senate log jams on these high-priority issues pressure Biden to embrace an expanding movement within the Democratic Party to eliminate the 60-vote threshold needed to pass most bills. I’m calling. But here he also faces opposition within his own party — both West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin and Arizona’s Kyrsten Cinema oppose eliminating filibuster. .. Manchin also opposes the gun control bill passed by the House of Representatives, making it even more difficult to pass in the Senate.
The White House is in frequent contact with gun control advocates. Most say they are happy with Biden’s first executive branch and are cautiously optimistic about his promise to work to pass the bill at Capitol Hill.
“I always want the Biden administration to do more,” said Josh Howitz, secretary-general of the Union to stop gun violence, but “efforts” from Congress and White House Democrats. I haven’t seen “lack of”.
“I think the key question is how much pressure we can put on Senate Republicans. How many more episodes of daily gun violence and how many more mass shootings can be seen? Do I have to? “He said.
Howitz said: “The ship of state takes some time to turn around, but people die every day, so they don’t have time.”
Biden’s focus on infrastructure distracts from cracking down on crises in the color community, said Melina Abdullah, co-director of Black Lives Matter-Grassroots, which coordinates chapter-based work in the field at BLM. I did.
“It’s been 160 days since Biden told the blacks,’You always had my back, and I have your back,'” Abdullah said in a statement sent to AP. Said inside
Contributed by Associated Press writers Lisa Mascaro and Aaron Morrison.