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NRA convention kicks off in Texas just days after elementary school shooting

Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images(HOUSTON) -- The National Rifle Association is forging ahead with its annual meeting in Texas days after 19 young children and two teachers were killed in a mass shooting in the state. A roster of leading Republicans, including Donald Trump, will appear -- as protesters gather outside. NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre kicked off the four-day leadership forum Friday by addressing the shooting, stating the NRA is with the community of Uvalde and the rest of the nation "in prayer." "It’s not right," LaPierre said. "It should never happen. If we as a nation were capable of legislating evil out of the hearts and minds of criminals who commit these heinous acts, we would have done it   ... Read More

As Gov. Abbott places shooting blame on mental health, what has Texas done to address it?

Eric Thayer/Bloomberg via Getty Images(UVALDE, Texas) -- During a press conference this week, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott blamed the mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde on mental health issues. Abbott explained that law enforcement believes what's behind these types of attacks is a growing prevalence of people with mental health issues and the need for more mental health support, not lax gun laws. "We as a state, we as a society need to do a better job with mental health," the Republican governor said Wednesday. "Anybody who shoots somebody else has a mental health challenge. Period. We as a government need to find a way to target that mental health challenge and to do something about it." However,   ... Read More

Gun control advocacy groups rally at Capitol, urge senators to pass reform

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- In the wake of mass shootings that have rocked the nation, the gun safety groups Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action came to the U.S. Capitol on Thursday to pressure senators to pass stalled gun-related legislation. Moms Demand Action founder Shannon Watts had a message for members of Congress: Do your job. In an interview with ABC News, Watts said "We're all only as safe as the closest state with the weakest gun laws because half of the country's states don't have background checks on gun sales." The House has done its job in passing gun reform, Shannon said. "The Senate just had to take up those pieces of legislation and pass them," she said.   ... Read More

Blinken describes delicate balance between isolating and enabling China

Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- In the eyes of the Biden administration, China is a daunting rival and an ever-present risk to global security. But it's also a necessary partner for tackling some of the world's most pressing issues. During an address laying out the president's policy towards China, Secretary of State Antony Blinken described a delicate balance between isolating and enabling the country, calling it the "most serious, long-term challenge" to the global balance. "China is the only country with both the intent to reshape the international order and increasingly, the economic diplomatic military and technological power to do it," he said. "Beijing's vision would move us away from the universal values that have sustained so much of the world's   ... Read More

Bipartisan senators meet on reviving stalled gun control talks

Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images, FILE(WASHINGTON) -- In an indication of possible movement on stalled gun control efforts in the wake of the Texas school shooting, a bipartisan group of nine senators – four Republicans and five Democrats – led by Connecticut Democrat Sen. Chris Murphy, met for about a half-hour Thursday to discuss what is possible in reforming gun safety laws. "This is a good start," Murphy told reporters afterward, indicating that red flag laws and expanded background checks for commercial gun sales were "on our list" to consider during a weeklong recess. The group is also looking at a GOP bill that was blocked Wednesday – the School Safety Act – that would codify current practice put in place during   ... Read More

How Texas loosened gun restrictions despite recent mass shootings

Eric Thayer/Bloomberg via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Gun control advocates are again calling on Texas lawmakers to restrict access to firearms after at least 19 children and two teachers were killed in a shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday. The suspect, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, a student at Uvalde High School, is also dead, authorities said. Officials told ABC News that the suspect legally purchased two AR-style rifles on May 17 and May 20, respectively, just days after his 18th birthday. In Texas, where there are few restrictions on purchasing firearms, individuals who are 18 years or older are legally permitted to purchase long guns, which include shotguns and rifles. Republican lawmakers, who currently control the State   ... Read More

Will Texas school shooting force Congress to finally act on gun control?

Tim Graham/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Experts examine America's history with guns, the real-life impacts of gun violence and what can be done going forward to mitigate the problem. As the nation mourns the latest American massacre of 19 elementary school students and two teachers in Texas, the deadliest mass school shooting in nearly a decade, gun control efforts remain stalled in Washington, as they have for almost 30 years. President Joe Biden on Tuesday night made impassioned remarks expressing outrage at lawmakers who are blocking "common-sense" gun laws and rejected the argument often heard from Republicans that gun violence is a mental health issue. "These kinds of mass shootings never happen with the kind of frequency they happen in America. Why?   ... Read More

Biden orders federal policing reform on 2nd anniversary of George Floyd’s killing

Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- On the second anniversary of George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police, President Joe Biden on Wednesday signed an executive order on policing reforms for federal law enforcement. He had made a campaign promise to enact broader reform -- but Democrats in Congress failed to overcome Republican opposition to a measure that would hold local police accountable -- by making federal funding contingent on departments following congressionally-imposed requirements. The order signed Wednesday will apply to roughly 100,000 federal officers total, administration officials said. Speaking in the East Room surrounded by Floyd’s family members, relatives of Breonna Taylor and civil rights leaders, Biden celebrated the order as a "measure of what we can   ... Read More

Three key takeaways from Tuesday’s primary elections

Grace Cary/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Historic early turnout meant knockout political races in Georgia, Arkansas, Alabama and Texas primary and runoff elections. With the backdrop of another massacre in which at least 19 schoolchildren and two adults were gunned down in a Texas elementary school, voters took to the polls to sign off on the candidates they believe best meet this political moment. Here are some key takeaways from Tuesday's pivotal races: Some "big lie" candidates run out of steam There's never been a bigger test of voters' metabolism for "big lie" candidates than Georgia's GOP primaries. Gov. Brian Kemp made a vicious split from the former president after he refused to help him overturn 2020 election results in the state   ... Read More

Baby formula execs face Congress as second shipment arrives from overseas

J.Castro/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- A plane carrying some 1 million bottles' worth of specialized infant formula from Europe arrived at an airport outside of Washington on Wednesday, the same day top industry executives and federal regulators faced angry lawmakers on Capitol Hill. In testimony before a House panel, Dr. Bob Califf, head of the Food and Drug Administration, acknowledged his agency acted "too slow" to ward off the shortage. "Let me say you're right to be concerned and the public should be concerned," Califf told lawmakers. "As I've said already, it was too slow and there were decisions that were suboptimal along the way." The second shipment from overseas -- greeted by first lady Jill Biden and part of President Joe   ... Read More

Biden addresses nation on ‘horrific’ Texas school shooting

Joseph Sohm; Visions of America/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- With the U.S. still reeling from the mass shooting at a Buffalo grocery store, not even two weeks ago, President Joe Biden addressed Americans in the terrible wake of Tuesday's shooting at a Texas elementary school that left at least 18 young children dead. A clearly emotional Biden spoke to the nation from the White House Roosevelt Room about an hour after arriving back from a five-day trip to Asia and about two hours after ordering, from Air Force One, that the flag flying above the White House be lowered to half-staff. "I’d hoped, when I became president, I would not have to do this again. Another massacre. Uvalde, Texas. An elementary school.   ... Read More

Kellyanne Conway says she ‘never’ lied to Trump about outcome of 2020 election

Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Kellyanne Conway, former campaign manager to Donald Trump, sat down with “The View” co-hosts on Tuesday to discuss her new memoir, her husband’s attacks on then-President Trump and a moment with the former president that she says left her heartbroken. When Trump won the 2016 presidential election, Conway, who served as Trump’s campaign manager and would become one of his longest-serving aides, became the first woman to successfully run a presidential campaign in America. While she helped lead Trump to victory in 2016, Conway didn't take on his 2020 campaign. She left her White House role in August 2020 to spend more time with her family, she announced at the time. When Trump lost   ... Read More

Primary election updates: Marjorie Taylor Greene projected GOP winner in Georgia’s 14th district

Andi Rice/Bloomberg via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- May ends with another round of notable primary elections on Tuesday, this time in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia and Texas. The most-watched races will be in Georgia, with primaries for governor and the Senate. The results should give more insight into the strength of former President Donald Trump's endorsement as well as the conservative appetite for the "big lie." Here is how the news is developing. All times Eastern. Check back for updates.   May 24, 9:20 pm Ken Paxton projected winner of Texas attorney general runoff ABC News projects that in the Texas Republican primary runoff, incumbent Attorney General Ken Paxton will win. As of 9 p.m. Eastern, with 29% of the expected vote   ... Read More

For Trump, the stakes are highest yet in Georgia’s GOP primary

Brandon Bell/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The power of former President Donald Trump's endorsement and lasting influence over Republican midterm voters faces its biggest test yet on Tuesday in Georgia, where Trump and his former vice president are on opposite sides in a significant statewide race and where Trump's "big lie" is effectively on the ballot. So, for Trump, it's not just politics -- it's personal. Incumbent Gov. Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, both Republicans, are defending their offices from challengers -- but also from their most vocal critic, Trump, since both men resisted his pressure in 2020 to overturn President Joe Biden's victory, in a state where three audits confirmed Trump lost by more than 11,000 votes. Appearing   ... Read More

After Perdue tells Abrams to ‘go back where she came from,’ she says Republicans just ‘deflect’

Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg via Getty Images(ATLANTA) -- Stacy Abrams, a Black Democrat running for Georgia governor, declined on Tuesday to directly comment on Republican David Perdue saying she should "go back to where she came from." "No, not at all," Abrams, said at a news conference in Atlanta, when asked by ABC News whether she wanted to respond to what was widely labeled as racist remarks from Perdue on Monday night while giving a campaign speech in which he also charged she was "demeaning her own race." "I will say this," Abrams told ABC News at Tuesday's press conference. "I have listened to Republicans for the last six months attack me. But they've done nothing to attack the challenges facing Georgia.   ... Read More

Biden nominates 3 for Fed board, including first Black woman

Biden nominates 3 for Fed board, including first Black womanBy CHRISTOPHER RUGABER AP Economics Writer WASHINGTON -- President Joe Biden on Friday announced the nominations of three people for the Federal Reserve's Board of Governors, including Sarah Bloom Raskin, a former Fed and Treasury official, for the top regulatory slot and Lisa Cook, who would be the first Black woman to serve on the Fed's board. Biden also nominated Phillip Jefferson, an economist, dean of faculty at Davidson College in North Carolina and a former Fed researcher. The three nominees, who will have to be confirmed by the Senate, would fill out the Fed's seven-member board. They would join the Fed at a particularly challenging time in which the central bank will undertake the delicate task of raising its   ... Read More

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