Washington Daybook: Taking on the Gun Lobby

Photograph by Jacquelyn Martin/AP Photo

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, left, and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, at O’Malley’s reelection rally in 2010, in Bethesda, Md.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley deliver opening remarks at the Johns Hopkins University summit on guns in Baltimore today. Lawmakers in at least 10 states are seeking new restrictions on guns, ammunition after last month’s school shooting in Connecticut, challenging firearms lobby’s political clout.

Vice President Joe Biden meets today with House members, Attorney General Eric Holder, Homeland Securirty Secretary Janet Napolitano and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius as he formulates recommendations for a national plan to combat gun violence.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa discusses immigration policy at a National Press Club luncheon. President Barack Obama plans to push for a comprehensive immigration plan that includes legislative solutions to issues such as undocumented immigrants, according to administration officials.

On Capitol Hill, only the House will be in session this week, with lawmakers focused on disaster relief post-Hurricane Sandy. The chamber will take up a proposed second installment of cleanup funds, with lawmakers divided over how much money is needed now. The House also considers a separate measure to streamline the process of delivering federal disaster aid.

With little time remaining in office, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta nonetheless has managed to squeeze in a European farewell tour, with stops this week in Portugal, Spain, Italy and the U.K. The purpose of the trip, which begins today, is “to meet with allies on NATO cooperation, as well as discuss the mission in Afghanistan,” according to spokesman George Little.

Also today, the Brookings Institution holds a forum on the humanitarian crisis in Syria, where a civil war has sent 500,000 refugees to neighboring countries.

And Agriculture Sec. Tom Vilsack discusses the need for a five-year food, farm and jobs bill at the American Farm Bureau Federation annual meeting.

 Laura Curtis in Washington contributed to this report.

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