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McBath and Neguse at an impeachment markup hearing in December. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Rep. Joe Neguse (D-Colo.) and Rep. Lucy McBath (D-Ga.) will ask President Biden to appoint a national director of gun violence prevention, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: The issue — which resonates in Colorado with its dark legacy of mass shootings — comes days after the White House began to push forward on an issue activists wanted to see prioritized in his first month.  

  • "If we are not doing everything we can to ensure another Columbine, another Aurora, another Highlands Ranch, does not happen again, then we are not doing enough," Neguse said in a statement.

What they're saying: In the letter, Neguse and McBath tell Biden that "a comprehensive government approach to address this violence, will help bring our nation out from under the depths of the gun violence crisis."

  • The pair notes that "disproportionate shares of this violence [fall] on communities of color" and that those who lost their lives to gun violence jumped 10% in 2020 from 2019.
  • They highlight that "federal efforts to combat gun violence, including research on the impacts and causes of gun violence and law enforcement efforts to combat it, are siloed across agencies."

Read the full letter:

This story first appeared in the Axios Denver newsletter, designed to help readers get smarter, faster on the most consequential news unfolding in their own backyard.

Go deeper

1 dead as severe storms pummel the South

A tree that fell on a home carport damaged a vehicle during a storm in Central, Louisiana. No injuries were reported, according to Central Fire Department. Photo: Central Fire Department/Twitter

Strong storms lashed the South early Saturday, spawning at least one tornado and unleashing powerful winds and hail. And forecasters warned more severe weather was expected to hit parts of the region in the coming hours.

Details: Thousands of customers lost power in Florida, Mississippi, Arkansas, Texas and Louisiana, according to tracking site poweroutage.us. An F3 tornado that hit St Landry Parish, Louisiana, killed one person and wounded seven others.

Scoop: Biden eyes Russia adviser criticized as soft on Kremlin

Photo: Alexander Shcherbak\TASS via Getty Images

President Biden is considering appointing Matthew Rojansky, head of the Wilson Center's Kennan Institute, as Russia director on the National Security Council, according to a source familiar with the situation.

Why it matters: Rojansky has been praised for his scholarship on Russia and is frequently cited in U.S. media for his expert commentary. But his work has drawn criticism — including in a 2018 open letter from Ukrainian alumni of Kennan that blasted the think tank he runs as an "unwitting tool of Russia’s political interference."

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus cases hold steady at 65,000 per day — CDC declares racism "a serious public health threat" — WHO official: Brazil is dealing with "raging inferno" of a COVID outbreak.
  2. Vaccines: America may be close to hitting a vaccine wall — Pfizer asks FDA to expand COVID vaccine authorization to adolescents — CDC says Johnson & Johnson vaccine supply will drop 80% next week.
  3. Economy: Treasury says over 156 million stimulus payments sent out since March — More government spending expected as IMF projects 6% global GDP growth.
  4. Politics: Supreme Court ends California's coronavirus restrictions on home religious meetings.
  5. World: Iran tightens COVID restrictions amid fourth wave of pandemic.
  6. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.