Biden, the White House’s public face of and private force behind the push for new gun control laws, and his chief of staff, Bruce Reed, are no longer involved in the long-term planning between the White House and major gun violence prevention groups, officials from several organizations tell POLITICO.
The vice president’s disappearance from an issue he’d been spearheading is a clear signal of how much the focus has shifted from passing gun control legislation in Congress to winning reforms at state capitols and building local networks that can pressure and help elect members of Congress over the long term. The background checks bill Obama championed in the Senate isn’t going to get another vote after falling short in April unless several senators publicly change their mind, aides to senators involved in gun control discussions say.
Officials from the White House Office of Public Engagement, which reports to senior Obama aide Valerie Jarrett, are now carrying the administration’s gun control efforts. OPE officials hold a regular meeting with the major gun control groups known as the Gun Violence Table.