guns

Bernie's Big Day in D.C.

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks during a media gaggle in Des Moines, Iowa, on Jan. 26. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders had a big, but mixed day in Washington Wednesday, meeting one-on-one with President Barack Obama at the White House, but also getting blasted by another key Democrat, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who criticized the presidential hopeful’s health care plan as unrealistic.

Just days before the crucial Iowa caucuses, Sanders also got a chance to reversee a previous stand on gun legislation, as Democrats on Capitol Hill pushed to roll back a 2005 law that protects firearms manufacturers from liability when their guns are used to commit crimes.

Will Obama Issue Executive Action on Cap-and-Trade?

Inhofe. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Obama administration is refusing to make his final year in office as uneventful as Republicans would like. In fact, lawmakers expect executive action on everything from terrorist detention to campaign finance to environmental issues.  

One possibility is an executive action setting up a carbon cap-and-trade system, says Senate Environment and Public Works Chairman James M. Inhofe, R-Okla. President Barack Obama "has legacy things and he doesn’t have as much time as he would like to have,” Inhofe said in an interview. “Cap-and-trade and closing Gitmo, those are the things he wants to do.”  

Obama Urges 'Better Politics' to Tackle Challenges

"Democracy does require basic bonds of trust between its citizens,” Obama told Congress and a nationwide audience. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

President Barack Obama used his last State of the Union address to prod both Congress and the American people, saying America’s political system needs an overhaul if the country is to successfully tackle a list of “challenges.”  

In an unique address to a joint session of Congress, Obama laid out a mostly optimistic vision for a United States, one he said should be followed long after he leaves office to provide “prosperity and security for generations to come.”  

SOTU: Obama Tries to Reassure Anxious Public

Obama works at his desk in the Oval Office on Tuesday as he prepares to give his 7th and the final State of the Union address. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama will take an optimistic message about the future of America to Capitol Hill on Tuesday evening, using his final State of the Union to reassure a distressed public and challenge a restive Congress.  

Obama hopes to use his final address to lawmakers to strike a stark contrast with what the White House has described as “gloom and doom” talk from the Republican presidential candidates about the trajectory of the country. He and his top aides are previewing the prime time speech as a break from tradition, saying Obama will speak in broad terms rather than lay out a sweeping legislative agenda.

Giffords Marks Fifth Anniversary of Safeway Shooting

Giffords, center, gets a hug from Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz left, and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand after Giffords threw out the first pitch before the Congressional Women's Softball game in June 2014. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It's been five years since former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., was shot at a Safeway in her district, a mass shooting that injured 12 others and killed six at a "Congress on Your Corner" event in Casas Adobes near Tucson.  

To mark the anniversary, Giffords was in Washington this week. On Thursday, she attended President Barack Obama's town hall on guns on CNN , and on Friday was at the D.C. headquarters for Americans for Responsible Solutions, the advocacy group she and husband Mark Kelly founded after the shooting, to meet with some of her former congressional staffers and friends. She also wrote an opinion piece for The Washington Post about her experience, her recovery and the issue that has animated her since: gun control.  

4 Surprises From Obama's Town Hall

Obama listens to a question from Arizona Sheriff Paul Babeu during Thursday's town hall. (Aude Guerrucci/Pool/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama took his plea for gun control to prime time on Thursday, but it is unclear how many minds his CNN town hall will change.  

Obama took questions for just over an hour from CNN anchor Anderson Cooper and audience members, some gun-rights advocates and others from the firearms-control community. The event came several days after Obama unveiled a series of executive actions to beef up the federal background check system and other moves intended to curb mass shootings.  

Obama Makes Gun Control a 2016 Issue

Andy Parker, whose daughter Alison, was killed on-air in the WDBJ-TV shooting last year, speaks at a rally on the East Front lawn of the Capitol in September to demand that Congress take action on gun control legislation. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Obama administration is poised to make buying guns an election-year issue, essentially inviting Republicans to a high-stakes courtroom brawl.  

The White House unveiled a snapshot of the steps it is taking to tighten federal gun laws under his executive powers ahead of remarks President Barack Obama will deliver just before noon on Tuesday from the East Room. But even before Obama announces the controversial actions, congressional Republicans and the party’s 2016 presidential candidates are livid.  

Obama Poised to Tighten Gun Laws After Holidays

Congressional Republicans and Obama are at a standoff over access to guns. . (Saul Loeb/Pool/Getty Images File Photo)

Senior congressional aides and sources in the gun-control community expect the White House to use its executive powers to tighten federal gun laws shortly after President Barack Obama returns from a Hawaiian vacation in early January.  

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Thursday he anticipates a legal review to continue through the holidays.  

Democrats Tie Up House Floor to Force Vote on Guns Bill

Israel said Democrats wanted to "shame Republicans into giving us a vote on stopping terrorists for buying guns in America." (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Democrats want Republicans to give them a vote on legislation to ban individuals on the terrorist watch list from purchasing guns.  

On Tuesday, they got to debate the issue — sort of. Members of the House Democratic Caucus launched a plan to force as many as 15 procedural motions to adjourn throughout the day, with others expected throughout the balance of the week, in a bid to force GOP leaders to bring up legislation that would give the attorney general authority to deny gun licenses to anyone deemed to be engaged in terrorist activities.  

Which Terror List Are Democrats Tying to Gun Control, Exactly?

An aide to Feinstein said her bill has always referred to the terror database. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The White House and congressional Democrats are referring to two very different lists of potential terrorists interchangeably in their push for stricter gun laws, further complicating a politically white-hot issue.  

Since an Islamic State-inspired California couple used several legally purchased firearms to kill 14 people and injure nearly two dozen more, President Barack Obama and his fellow Democrats have proposed linking the gun-purchasing process to two separate databases of terrorism suspects.