President pushes reformed gun control, talks fiscal cliff
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Amid the renewed gun control debate nationwide following the Connecticut school massacre, President Obama is taking action to push for new gun control policies.
The president says measures should be put in place to assure that guns don't get into the wrong hands. He said access to mental health care should be at least as easy as access to a gun.
In a speech delivered Wednesday, the president announced that Vice President Joe Biden will lead the inter-agency task force on the issue.
"This is not some Washington commission. This is not something where folks are going to be studying the issue for six months and publishing a report that gets read and then pushed aside,” he said. “This is a team that has a very specific task, to pull together real reforms right now."
The president says the newly-created task force will include Cabinet members and outside organizations. He said the group's deadline to create proposals is the end of January, and he intends to push for the proposals without delay.
President Obama also addressed the impending “fiscal cliff” after his statements on gun policy.
Republicans this week proposed a “Plan B,” which would raise taxes for people who make more than $1 million a year.
President Obama campaigned on raising taxes on Americans making more than $250,000.
Both sides have agreed to new revenue in return for the spending cuts.
The president said he hoped the recent shooting in Connecticut would offer his Republican colleagues in Congress some perspective.
"I would like to think that members of that caucus would say to themselves, ‘You know, we disagree with the president on a whole host of things, we wish the other guy had won, but right now, what the country needs is for us to compromise,’" he said.
The fiscal cliff refers to automatic spending cuts and tax increases which are set to go into effect in January if Congress fails to reach a compromise.