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Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

More than 200 mayors signed onto a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Thursday urging them to cancel the Senate's August recess to address gun control following last weekend's mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, Ohio.

"Already in 2019, there have been over 250 mass shootings. The tragic events in El Paso and Dayton this weekend are just the latest reminders that our nation can no longer wait for our federal government to take the actions necessary to prevent people who should not have access to firearms from being able to purchase them."

The big picture: The mayors of Dayton, El Paso, Orlando, Pittsburgh, Parkland, Fla., Annapolis, Md. and other cities that have been the site of mass shootings in recent years are among the 214 calling for the Senate to vote on two background check bills that have already passed the House.

  • H.R. 8 would require background checks for all firearm sales, including those sold at gun shows and online.
  • H.R. 1112, spearheaded by Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.), who represents Charleston, would "extend the background check review period deadline from three to 10 business days."

Go deeper: Schumer, Pelosi demand McConnell cancel Senate recess to pass gun control

Go deeper

4 hours ago - World

Hong Kong pro-democracy media tycoon Jimmy Lai detained on fraud charge

An activist holds a placard highlighting China's Tiananmen Square massacre as pro-democracy media tycoon Jimmy Lai arrives at West Kowloon Magistrates' Court in Hong Kong in November. Photo: Isaac Wong/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai is being detained until an April court hearing after the pro-democracy supporter was charged Thursday with fraud, per his Apple Daily news outlet.

Why it matters: The 72-year-old's arrest and denial of bail is another blow for the pro-democracy movement in the former British colony amid concerns about a fresh crackdown on activists.

7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Inhofe loudly sets Trump straight on defense bill

Sen. Jim Inhofe speaks with reporters in the Capitol last month. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Senator Jim Inhofe told President Trump today he'll likely fail to get two big wishes in pending defense spending legislation, bellowing into his cellphone: "This is the only chance to get our bill passed," a source who overheard part of their conversation tells Axios.

Why it matters: Republicans are ready to test whether Trump's threats of vetoing the bill, which has passed every year for more than half a century, are empty.

Conspiracy theories blow back on Trump's White House

Sidney Powell. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

President Trump has rarely met a conspiracy theory he doesn't like, but he and other Republicans now worry the wild tales told by lawyers Sidney Powell and Lin Wood may cost them in Georgia's Senate special elections.

Why it matters: The two are telling Georgians not to vote for Republicans David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler because of a bizarre, baseless and potentially self-defeating theory: It's not worth voting because the Chinese Communist Party has rigged the voting machines.