Washington (CNN) - Lawmakers began a new session of Congress with the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, still fresh in their minds - inspiring a new push to pass gun laws that could prevent another tragedy.
On Day One, lawmakers in the House of Representatives introduced nearly a dozen bills related to gun violence.
(CNN) - About 90 minutes after publicly berating lawmakers for failing to reach a fiscal cliff deal before the holidays, President Barack Obama flew out of Washington. He landed in Hawaii 11 hours later - over 4,000 miles from Capitol Hill, and where the temperature was a balmy 80 degrees, twice what it was in Washington.
"As we leave town for a few days, I hope it gives everyone perspective," he said in those remarks on December 21, two weeks ago. "Everybody can drink some eggnog, have some Christmas cookies, sing some Christmas carols, enjoy the company of loved ones."
(CNN) - The Californian picked to lead congressional Democrats' efforts on gun control says the positions held by some gun rights advocates are unnecessarily divisive, and that government action should go beyond simply outlawing certain weapons.
"I think assault weapons are a pox on the home of every gun owner," Rep. Mike Thompson said Saturday on CNN. "I think that's the thing that's going to cause the overwhelming majority of people in this country who aren't gun owners to have negative feelings about those of us who are gun owners."
(CNN) - The former Arizona congresswoman who survived a mass shooting in her district roughly two years ago paid a visit Friday to Newtown, Connecticut, where last month a gunman killed 27 people and himself in one of the deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history.
Gabrielle Giffords made the trip with her husband, Mark Kelly. The couple met with local and state leaders to discuss gun control legislation, mental health identification and treatment, and "concerns for the erosion of our societal values such that we are increasingly desensitized to violence," according to Newtown First Selectman Pat Llodra.
Washington (CNN) - Just hours after taking office, the new House of Representatives reinstated a team of ethics investigators that had faced what seemed like a certain death due to lawmakers' inaction.
Overshadowed by the recent fiscal cliff hubbub, lawmakers from the last session had neglected to decide whether or not to renew the Office of Congressional Ethics. Last week, CNN reported on the concerns among public interests groups that lawmakers were purposely trying to kill the OCE through their inaction to avoid future ethics investigations.
(CNN) - While Republicans this week have already begun to lace up their fighting gloves for the upcoming battles over debt and spending, President Barack Obama used his weekly address Saturday to draw his own lines.
"One thing I will not compromise over is whether or not Congress should pay the tab for a bill they've already racked up. If Congress refuses to give the United States the ability to pay its bills on time, the consequences for the entire global economy could be catastrophic," Obama said.