Bloomberg: Nothing Has Changed in Washington Since Newtown

The outgoing New York City mayor slammed Congress on Thursday for failing to tighten national gun laws.

National Journal
Marina Koren
Add to Briefcase
Marina Koren
Dec. 12, 2013, 7:30 a.m.

In his fi­nal weeks as may­or of New York City, Mi­chael Bloomberg is get­ting his last word in on loc­al le­gis­la­tion, from to­bacco sales to pub­lic Wi-Fi.

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.”

What We're Following See More »
AFRAID HE’S TAKING SUPPORT FROM CLINTON
Democrats Taking Aim at Gary Johnson
4 minutes ago
WHY WE CARE

"Democrats panicked by third-party candidates drawing support away from Hillary Clinton are ramping up their attacks against Gary Johnson and warning that a vote for a third party is a vote for Donald Trump. Liberal groups are passing around embarrassing videos of Johnson and running ads against him warning about his positions on issues like climate change that are important to young voters and independents."

Source:
RUSSIA DENIES
Dutch Investigators: MH17 Was Downed by Russian Launcher
7 minutes ago
THE LATEST

Russo-Western relations are getting thornier all the time. "Dutch-led criminal investigators said Wednesday they have solid evidence that a Malaysian jet was shot down by a Buk missile moved into eastern Ukraine from Russia. Wilbert Paulissen, head of the Central Crime Investigation department of the Dutch National Police, said communications intercepts showed that pro-Moscow rebels had called for deployment of the mobile surface-to-air weapon, and reported its arrival in rebel-controlled areas of eastern Ukraine." Russia, of course, is denying culpability.

Source:
FIRST DEMOCRAT ENDORSEMENT EVER
Arizona Republic Endorses Clinton
11 minutes ago
WHY WE CARE

In its roughly 125-year history, the Arizona Republic has never endorsed a Democratic candidate for president. Until now. "The 2016 Republican candidate is not conservative and he is not qualified," the editors write, as they throw their support to Hillary Clinton.

Source:
TO BE INCLUDED IN SEPARATE BILL
Deal on Flint Aid Likely to Avert Shutdown
15 minutes ago
WHY WE CARE

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi have reached a deal which is likely to avert a government shutdown. The biggest impediment had been the GOP's refusal to include funding for Flint water system reconstruction in the continuing resolution, and this solution provides an alternative measure likely to appease both sides. The funding for Flint will be included in the Water Resources and Development Act as an amendment to the version passed by the House of Representatives, one which will be passed in the senate. It now appears likely that Congress will in fact be able to keep the government open.

Source:
GOP REFUSED VOTE ON FCC COMMISIONER
Reid Blocks Tech Bill Over “Broken Promise”
16 hours ago
THE DETAILS

Monday night's debate may have inspired some in Congress, as Senate Minority Leader has decided to take a stand of his own. Reid is declining to allow a vote on a "bipartisan bill that would bolster U.S. spectrum availability and the deployment of wireless broadband." Why? Because of a "broken promise" made a year ago by Republicans, who have refused to vote on confirmation for a Democratic commissioner on the Federal Communications Commission to a second term. Harry Reid then took it a step further, invoking another confirmation vote still outstanding, that of Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland.

Source:
×