But there are some differences. The president, for example, is specifically calling for the investment of $4 billion in the Community Oriented Policing Services program, which helps localities hire law enforcement officers. An expansion of that program has faced Republican criticism and is not specifically included in the House Democrats’ principles.
In what could be interpreted as a jab at the Justice Department, the House task force is calling for more aggressive federal prosecution of gun laws that are on the books now, a recommendation favored by the NRA and articulated by several Republicans during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on gun violence last week. “When prohibited persons attempt to buy guns, they are hardly ever prosecuted,” the task force’s principles state. “More can and must be done to make these investigations and prosecutions a priority.”
Both the White House and the House task force are calling for universal background checks for gun purchases, but the House group recommends that specific exemptions be included, “such as gifts between family members and temporary [gun] loans for sporting purposes.”
Thompson also pointed to other recommendations not specifically identified by the White House, such as the development of early intervention programs “that are designed to prevent the problems that lead to gun violence before those problems start,” and the creation of gun buyback programs and other steps that can get firearms out of the hands “of those who don’t want them or shouldn’t have them.”
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.