2. Address unnecessary legal barriers, particularly relating to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, that may prevent states from making information available to the background check system.
3. Improve incentives for states to share information with the background check system.
4. Direct the Attorney General to review categories of individuals prohibited from having a gun to make sure dangerous people are not slipping through the cracks.
5. Propose rulemaking to give law enforcement the ability to run a full background check on an individual before returning a seized gun.
6. Publish a letter from ATF to federally licensed gun dealers providing guidance on how to run background checks for private sellers.
7. Launch a national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign.
8. Review safety standards for gun locks and gun safes (Consumer Product Safety Commission).
9. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal law enforcement to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations.
10. Release a DOJ report analyzing information on lost and stolen guns and make it widely available to law enforcement.
11. Nominate an ATF director.
12. Provide law enforcement, first responders, and school officials with proper training for active shooter situations.
13. Maximize enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence and prosecute gun crime.
14. Issue a Presidential Memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence.
15. Direct the Attorney General to issue a report on the availability and most effective use of new gun safety technologies and challenge the private sector to develop innovative technologies.
16. Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes.
17. Release a letter to health care providers clarifying that no federal law prohibits them from reporting threats of violence to law enforcement authorities.
18. Provide incentives for schools to hire school resource officers.
19. Develop model emergency response plans for schools, houses of worship and institutions of higher education.
20. Release a letter to state health officials clarifying the scope of mental health services that Medicaid plans must cover.
21. Finalize regulations clarifying essential health benefits and parity requirements within ACA exchanges.
22. Commit to finalizing mental health parity regulations.
23. Launch a national dialogue led by Secretaries Sebelius and Duncan on mental health."
The 113th Congress, including both the House and Senate, gained 11 Democrats, lost nine Republicans, and added six women. It also lost a mustache and seven businesspeople.
The NRA is a mighty thing. But as mighty as it is, it is no match for the political power of the “parent lobby” in this country. If we parents ever decided to take a stand between our children and the gun lobby, we would perhaps be shielding thousands of our kids from the deadly bullets yet to come.
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(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Glancing back, one cannot help but be struck by certain similarities between the role of party politics in the run-up to the crisis of 1812-14 and the present partisan strife over government tax policy, budgetary priorities, and the national debt.
In the arc of history, the contemporary discord about the proper balance of government spending, borrowing and taxation has an air of déjà vu. The 112th Congress put in jeopardy, at one point, the financial full faith and credit of the United States. The debacle was narrowly averted by a crude statutory contrivance, cobbled together at the eleventh hour. “Our country is not going to default for the first time in history,” the Senate minority leader was able to declare. But America came dangerously close, and if it had happened, it actually would have been the second time — the first having occurred in 1814, at the hands of the 13th Congress, which had been comparably conflicted about raising the requisite revenue to cover the nation’s unsustainable bills.
Read more. [Image: Wikimedia Commons]
The 2012 House and Senate elections brought over 80 new members to Washington.
Use our interactive application to sort and filter the freshmen by age, experience, ethnicity, and more.
Hover over each picture for name, state, and district information. To read a full narrative of each newcomer, written by the staff of The Almanac of American Politics, click the member’s picture.
This is very cool.
Rep. Todd Akin appeared to be on his own in the controversy over his abortion and rape comments, but fellow Congressman Steve King has also put his foot in it after saying he’s never heard of a woman getting pregnant because of statutory rape or incest. Like Akin, Iowa’s King supported a House bill in 2011 that would have banned federal funding for abortion and would not have included an exemption for just those sorts of cases.
In an interview on Monday, he suggested such an exemption wouldn’t be necessary because he’s never heard of such a thing happening. ”Well I just haven’t heard of that being a circumstance that’s been brought to me in any personal way,” King told KMEG-TV Monday, “and I’d be open to discussion about that subject matter.”
Read more. [Image: AP]
A review of every bill Paul Ryan has co-sponsored that did not fail provides a picture of what Ryan has contributed to the nation over his years in public office.
- Ryan served as co-sponsor on eight bills that successfully provided for the issuance of new commemorative coins. These coins celebrated: American veterans who are disabled for life; the National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center; the Boy Scouts of America Centennial; the San Francisco Old Mint; Jamestown’s 400th Anniversary; Benjamin Franklin; American Bald Eagle recovery; and the American buffalo (which, we can all agree, is a truly majestic animal).
- Ryan has honored Wisconsin as a co-sponsor of efforts that celebrated: the 100th anniversary of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse; the Wisconsin Badger football team for an outstanding season and 2011 Rose Bowl bid; that Flag Day originated in Ozaukee County, Wis.; and also the renaming of several Veterans Administration and Post Office buildings in the state.
- Speaking of post offices, in addition to sponsoring the renaming of one after Les Aspin, Ryan successfully co-sponsored the renaming of U.S. Post Office branches in Schertz, Tex.; Dixon, Ill.; and Madison, Wis., giving us the Robert M. La Follette, Sr. Post Office Building.
- Ryan has co-sponsored five successful resolutions honoring Ronald Reagan. These measures: established the Ronald Reagan Centennial Commission Act; renamed a post office in Dixon, Ill., the “President Ronald W. Reagan Post Office Building”; authorized the Secretary of the Interior to establish the Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home National Historic Site; recognized the 90th birthday of Ronald Reagan; and provided for “the award of a gold medal on behalf of the Congress to former President Ronald Reagan and his wife Nancy Reagan in recognition of their service to the Nation.”
- Ryan has co-sponsored successful legislation banning animal crush videos.
Read more. [Image: Reuters]