Dems Seek To Make Curbing Gun Violence A Central Issue Of Campaign For The White House
Candidates gathered at a forum organized by gun-control advocates that was held at the Iowa State Fair, which attracts about 100,000 visitors a day. Iowa also will hold the nation's first presidential nomination caucuses in February 2020.
For 2020 Democrats, Hammering On Gun Control Comes With Upside: Energized, Angry Activists
In the aftermath of this month’s mass shooting rampages by heavily-armed young men in El Paso and Dayton, Democrats are looking to galvanize the gun control movement’s energy and make American grief over the seemingly endless scourge of mass killings a central issue of the campaign for the White House.And the success of federal and gubernatorial candidates who put gun policy front-and-center during the 2018 election cycle, as well as changing demographics of where Democratic votes come from, is impacting how politicians approach gun safety. (Madhani, 8/12)
The Wall Street Journal:
Iowa Is Ground Zero For Gun Debate As Presidential Hopefuls Weigh In
Beau Hicks said he spoke with his teenage daughter before they arrived Saturday at the Iowa State Fair about how to react in an active-shooter situation. “We shouldn’t have to be nervous in a crowd,” he said. “That’s what makes me mad, when there are things we can do.” One week after mass shootings in Texas and Ohio shocked the nation, such conversations are becoming more common. (McCormick and Parti, 8/10)
The Associated Press:
O'Rourke Says He Supports National Gun Licensing Program
Beto O’Rourke is joining a number of his Democratic presidential rivals in support of a national gun licensing program. The former Texas congressman said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” that states that require gun licensing, mandate universal background checks or stop the sales of assault-style weapons are saving lives. He says it makes sense to “adopt these solutions nationally.” O’Rourke has remained in his hometown of El Paso, Texas, since shortly after a gunman killed 22 people at a Walmart store on Aug. 3. Law enforcement officials say the suspect had an AK-47 rifle and was targeting Mexicans. (8/11)
Elizabeth Warren's New Plan On Guns Has A Goal: Reduce Gun Deaths By 80%
Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren introduced a sweeping gun control plan Saturday with the goal of reducing gun deaths by 80% through executive action and legislation. "You've got to start with a goal. I haven't heard anybody else talk about a goal," Warren said in an interview with The NPR Politics Podcast. ... Announcing her plan, Warren said the first step toward meeting her goal is immediate administrative action, which includes a range of ideas such as requiring background checks, investigating the NRA, and revoking licenses for gun dealers who break the law. (Khalid, 8/10)
Meanwhile, on the topic of "Medicare for All" --
Some Labor Unions Split With Biden On 'Medicare For All'
Joe Biden and other moderate Democratic candidates opposed to “Medicare for All” have cast the plan as anti-labor, arguing that it would leave union members worse off by stripping them of the health care benefits they painstakingly negotiated. But not all labor unions agree. Only a few major unions have come out against the single-payer system that would all but eliminate private insurance, while many others remain undecided and some of the biggest labor groups in the country have embraced the plan. (Ollstein, 8/10)
Also in the mix, the high costs of prescription drugs. That issue, along with insurer profits, is high on the list of Democrats' talking points. And, even though it is the August recess, drug costs continue to draw attention from Capitol Hill lawmakers.
The Associated Press:
Democratic Hopefuls Take Aim At Insurer And Pharma Profits
Sen. Bernie Sanders and other progressives seeking the Democratic presidential nomination are zeroing in on pharmaceutical and insurer profits, money they say would be better spent providing health care for everyone under “Medicare for All.” Their idea: Health care dollars from government programs, employers and families that are going into the pockets of investors instead could be used to pay for services. If people want a health care system that will not bankrupt them, “the answer is to get rid of the profiteering of the drug companies and the insurance companies (and) move to Medicare for All,” Sanders said during the recent Democratic debates. But research by The Associated Press suggests those dollars might not go so far. While there’s no single ledger for drugmakers and insurers, the AP found major companies had about $97 billion in profits last year. That wouldn’t even cover a couple of weeks in a health care system that costs $3.6 trillion a year. (Alonso-Zaldivar and Murphy, 8/11)
Top Republican Pushes Drug Bill That Divides GOP, But Trump Wants Win On Issue
Back home in Iowa for the August recess, Senate Finance Chairman Chuck Grassley is making the case in this conservative state for a sweeping drug bill, even though many in his party do not support it. "One of the few times, if it isn't the only time, that I've been chairman of various committees that I haven't had at least a majority of Republicans on my side," Grassley conceded at a town hall meeting in Aurelia this week, but he added: "It's probably more valuable to have the president on your side." For 39 years and counting, the Republican senator has traveled to all 99 counties in his home state every year to meet with constituents, and this year the high cost of prescription drugs has come up in nearly all of them. (Davis, 8/9)