News / USA

Washington Week: Focus on Gun Control, Obama Cabinet Picks

Washington Week: Focus on Gun Control, Obama Cabinet Picksi
X
February 03, 2013 9:42 PM
On Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama will attempt to rally public support for gun control measures formulated after the December mass-shooting at a Connecticut elementary school. Also this week: further Senate consideration of Obama’s Cabinet picks for his second term, as we hear from VOA’s Michael Bowman.

Washington Week: Focus on Gun Control, Obama Cabinet Picks

Michael Bowman
On Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama will attempt to rally public support for gun control measures formulated after the December mass-shooting at a Connecticut elementary school.  Also this week: further Senate consideration of Obama’s Cabinet picks for his second term. .
 
President Obama travels to Minneapolis, Minnesota, to promote proposals for reducing gun violence.  The city’s police chief was among law enforcement officials consulted by Vice President Joe Biden in formulating the recommendations.  
 
Minneapolis saw a deadly shooting spree last year, and Mayor R.T. Rybak has become a leading voice for gun control. "In a wonderful neighborhood, in a wonderful business we have had a horrible tragedy," he said. 
 
Strong and sustained public support for firearms legislation is seen as critical to ensure congressional action.  A Senate hearing last week illuminated battle lines between gun-control proponents like former Representative Gabrielle Giffords, a victim of gun violence and opponents, like the National Rifle Association’s Wayne LaPierre.
 
In addition to gun control, the Senate is also mulling President Obama’s pick for defense secretary, Chuck Hagel. 
 
The former Republican senator appeared to stumble at his confirmation hearing last week, at one point mischaracterizing the administration’s policy on Iran’s nuclear ambitions. “I support the president's strong position on containment," he said. 
 
Hagel later said he backs the U.S. policy of preventing Iran from building a nuclear weapon.  Nevertheless, Republican opposition to his nomination appeared to strengthen during and after the hearing.  
 
Senator James Inhofe said, “Senator Hagel’s record is deeply troubling and out of the mainstream.”
 
Although Democrats hold a majority in the Senate, Hagel would need the support of at least five Republicans if a procedural maneuver to force a three-fifths vote on his nomination was called by a senator.
 
Later this week, the Senate begins formal consideration of President Obama’s choice for CIA director, counter-terrorism adviser John Brennan.
 
“If confirmed as director, I will make it my mission to ensure that the CIA has the tools it needs to keep our nation safe," said Brennan. 
 
Meanwhile, John Kerry begins his first full week as Secretary of State.  Kerry has pledged to strengthen U.S. diplomatic security after last year’s deadly terrorist attack at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. 
 
Outgoing U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is expected to discuss the Benghazi attack when he testifies Thursday before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

You May Like

Analysis: China Raises Hong Kong Rhetoric to Tiananmen Level

A front-page commentary in The People’s Daily called the current demonstrations 'chaos,' the same word Party officials used 25 years ago to describe the Tiananmen Square protests More

US Airstrikes Anger Syrian Civilians Fleeing Their Homes

Pentagon officials say they have seen no credible evidence of civilian deaths caused by US airstrikes against Islamic State militants More

Child Sexual Exploitation to Worsen in SE Asia

Southeast Asia’s planned economic integration is a key step for boosting the region’s productivity, but carries downsides as well More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid