WASHINGTON — Congressional Republicans are seeking more details on President Barack Obama's plan to reduce gun violence in schools.
In letters to members of Obama's Cabinet, they requested information about the president's time frame and funding plans for the implementation of 23 executive actions on gun control enacted in mid-January in response to the elementary school massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, in December.
Additionally, they want to know how the president's Congressional proposals will relate to mental health programs currently in place for students.
The leaders of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce sent letters to Attorney General Eric Holder, Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Housing and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
"While we agree we cannot stop every senseless act of violence, we share the president's commitment to reviewing the facts and evaluating proposed and existing policies and programs intended to help teachers, principals, and parents protect their children," the letter to Holder says.
Signed by Committee Chairman John Kline, R-Minnesota, and Subcommittee Chairmen Todd Rokita, R-Indiana, and Virginia Foxx, R-North Carolina, the letter also asks what "legislative authority the department is expected to invoke to carry out the executive actions."
In his January speech, Obama said, "To make a real and lasting difference, Congress, too, must act -- and Congress must act soon."
He called on the legislative branch to pass laws requiring universal background checks for anyone trying to buy a gun, to restore a ban on military-style assault weapons and to limit magazine rounds and to help law enforcement be tougher on people who buy guns with the purpose of selling them to criminals.