President Barack Obama will unveil around noon Wednesday a plan to reduce gun violence that includes legislative proposals and executive actions, Press Secretary Jay Carney confirmed at his Tuesday briefing.
“The president and the vice president will hold an event here at the White House to unveil a package of concrete proposals to reduce gun violence and prevent future tragedies like the one in Newtown, Conn.,” said Carney, in an event he estimated would start at 11:45 a.m.
“I will not get ahead of the president, in terms of what his package of proposals will include. I will simply note that the president has made clear that he intends to take a comprehensive approach,” Carney said.
“He has also made clear that there are specific legislative actions that he will continue to call on Congress to take — including the assault weapons ban, including a measure to ban high-capacity magazine clips, including an effort to close the very big loopholes in the background check system in our country,” he added.
Carney did not speculate on what executive actions Obama might take, but he added that “it is a simple fact that there are limits on what can be done within existing law. And Congress has to act on the kinds of measures that we’ve already mentioned, because the power to do that is reserved by Congress and to Congress.”
When asked about Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s statements in an interview Friday that he will not push legislation through the Senate that cannot pass the House, Carney said Obama will not prejudge what Congress can do.
“The fact of the matter is the president’s committed to pushing these proposals. He is not naive about the challenges that exist, but he believes that, as he said yesterday, if even one child’s life can be saved by the actions we take here in Washington, we must take those actions,” Carney said.
Carney added that children who wrote to the president in the wake of the school shootings last month in Newtown will be in attendance.
Plans for a Wednesday announcement were mentioned earlier by Democratic Rep. Elizabeth Esty, a freshman who represents Newtown. Esty appeared at a Tuesday morning news conference with Democratic Caucus Chairman Xavier Becerra of California.
Esty is a member of a House task force established by Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and led by Rep. Mike Thompson, D-Calif., that met with Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. at the White House on Monday.
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.