Biden sets sights on voting rights, gun violence

WASHINGTON, D.C. (NBC) – In Washington, President Biden takes on two big issues this week: gun violence and voting rights.

Later Monday, President Biden and Attorney General Merrick Garland will meet with local leaders, law enforcement, and elected officials on the administration’s plan to reduce gun crimes. Homicides are up 30% in the past year and a half.

Last month, the White House announced a strategy that includes community interventions, new law enforcement tools, and cracking down on the flow of firearms. At last weekend’s CPAC conference, conservatives called it an assault on gun rights. Former President Donald Trump said, “The same far-left Democrats who are defunding police are also leading an all-out crusade to strip you the law-abiding citizens of your god-given Second Amendment rights.”

President Biden is also turning his attention to voting rights with a speech in Philadelphia tomorrow. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said, “he will make a moral case to the American people on why the right to vote is fundamental to who we are as a nation.”

It comes as Texas lawmakers debate limiting 24-hour and drive-through voting. A source familiar says Democrats are considering another walkout there. The state’s governor defends Republican proposals. Governor Greg Abbott said, “We are providing more hours per day for voting to make sure that anybody of any type of background, any type of working situation, is going to have the opportunity to go vote.”

The Biden administration is hoping to create federal law to combat voting restrictions being considered in several states. Nearly 400 bills have been introduced in all but two states.

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