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Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

President Biden on Tuesday urged Congress to pass gun control legislation, including two House-approved bills to expand background checks, and renew bans on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.

Why it matters: They were some of Biden's most forceful comments on gun control since he was elected, and they came in the wake of a mass shooting in Boulder, Colorado, on Monday and a series of shootings in Georgia last week.

What they're saying: "This is not and should not be a partisan issue. This is an American issue," Biden said, noting that he had previously helped pass an assault weapons ban while serving in the Senate.

  • While cautioning that the facts of the Boulder shooting are still developing, the president said, "I don't need to wait another minute, let alone an hour, to take common-sense steps that will save lives in the future and to urge my colleagues in the House and Senate to act."
  • "We can ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines in this country, once again. ... It will save lives, American lives. And we have to act," he added.

The big picture: Ten people died in the Boulder shootings and eight died in Georgia. Both events prompted Biden to order flags lowered to half-staff and have renewed calls for tighter gun regulations in America.

  • The Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday hosted a hearing that addressed gun violence in America, with Chair Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) calling gun violence a "public health crisis."
  • Republicans rebuked the notion, with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) arguing, "Every time there’s a shooting, we play this ridiculous theater where this committee gets together and proposes a bunch of laws that would do nothing to stop these murders."

Reality check: Any gun control legislation, including the two background check bills passed by the House last week, would need 60 votes to pass in the 50-50 Senate. Biden did not make reference to eliminating the filibuster, which progressives have called on Senate Democrats to do.

Go deeper

33 mins ago - World

Tunisian president ousts prime minister, suspends parliament amid unrest

Tunisians stage a protest in response to the problems in the health sector in the country, demanding the resignation of the government and the dissolution of the parliament in Tunis on July 25. Photo: Yassine Gaidi/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Tunisian President Kais Saied announced Sunday that he had dismissed the country's prime minister and frozen the parliament amidst mass protests in the country, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: The move, which comes on the 64th anniversary of Tunisia's independence, escalates Saied's longstanding feud with Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi and poses a challenge to the 2014 constitution that "split powers between president, prime minister and parliament," per Reuters.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Pelosi appoints GOP Rep. Kinzinger to Jan. 6 committee

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced Sunday that she has appointed Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) to serve on the House select committee investigating the Jan 6. Capitol riot.

Why it matters: Pelosi's announcement comes after she rejected two of the five Republican appointments offered by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).

USCP chief: Officers testifying before Jan. 6 committee "need to be heard"

Thomas Manger, the new chief of the U.S. Capitol Police, Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

New Capitol Police chief Tom Manger said officers testifying before the Jan. 6 select committee this week "need to be heard."

Driving the news: The select committee's first hearing is set to take place on Tuesday and will feature testimony from law enforcement officers who were subject to some of the worst of violence during the insurrection.