Bloomberg has a few words left for Washington, too. The mayor called on Congress to “end the national epidemic of gun violence” during a Thursday press conference, two days before the one-year anniversary the Sandy Hook shooting in Newtown, Conn., that claimed innocent 26 lives.
“It’s important that we remember all those that we lost and their families. The anniversary will obviously be a very painful time for them and a painful time, I think, for all Americans,” Bloomberg said.
“It’s also important to remember that nothing in Washington has changed since Newtown, despite the fact that the vast majority of American people favor basic steps that would help keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill, criminals, and other dangerous people.”
Bloomberg cited some shifts in the debate this year. Several states, including New York and Connecticut, closed loopholes in their own legislation on background checks. The first permanent director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives in seven years was sworn in in spite of the gun lobby’s stalling efforts. And President Obama gave the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention the green light to renew research on gun-violence prevention, “ending the long, shameful freeze on such research caused by pressure from the gun lobby and its Washington allies.” (Gun supporters argued that the findings from that research contradict the administration’s message.)
Still, stricter federal regulations on background checks for gun permits is the endgame, Bloomberg said. So too is a bigger crackdown on gun sellers, many of whom deal in a growing online market.
Bloomberg’s tenure may soon be over, but judging from his last words to Congress as mayor, lawmakers won’t be seeing the last of him on this issue. “We will keep fighting,” he said. “Maybe we’ll keep fighting even harder.”
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"Negotiations are underway to have Bernie Sanders officially nominate Hillary Clinton for president at the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday night, a move that would further signal party unity. According to a source familiar with the talks, the Vermont senator would nominate the presumptive Democratic nominee after the roll call vote."
Bernie Sanders said he'll begin pivoting his campaign to an organization designed to help candidates at the local level around the country. At a breakfast for the Wisconsin delegation to the DNC this morning, he said the new group will "bring people into the political process around a progressive agenda," as it supports candidates "running for school board, for city council, for state legislature."
Everything's getting contentious in Philadelphia this week ... especially the Senate race that's being contested there. "Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Katie McGinty called her Republican opponent 'an asshole' while at a labor union event Monday at the Democratic National Convention. The comments about Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) came at a press conference with labor union leaders calling for raising the minimum wage. It was quickly followed by an apology." She immediately apologized in a statement.
Donald Trump has doubled down on his contentious views on NATO, reiterating his belief that the United States shouldn't unwaveringly support its allies. "We lose on everything. Folks, we lose on everything," the GOP nominee said. "We have to walk. Within two days they’re calling back! 'Get back over here, we’ll pay you whatever the hell you want.'" Last week, in an interview with The New York Times, Trump made waves when he said that he wouldn't necessarily back the United States' NATO allies if they hadn't paid their share, a comment that was rebuked by Democrats and Republicans alike.
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