This is a sampling from Bay Area News Group's Political Blotter blog. Read more and post comments at www.ibabuzz.com/politics.
Rep. Mike Honda, D-Campbell, has led 42 other House members in urging the Obama administration to omit from its budget amendments that block law enforcement from being able to track firearms used in crime.
The Tiahrt Amendments are a set of policy riders that have been attached, for the last nine years, to annual appropriations bills. They prohibit the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives from requiring licensed gun dealers to perform inventory checks; require that background check records be destroyed within 24 hours; and limit state and local law enforcement authorities' access and use of ATF gun trace data.
The lawmakers sent a letter Tuesday to Jeffrey Zients, acting director of the White House Office of Management and Budget.
"While pharmacies and other fields are required to check for inventory, guns are not. As a result, the restrictive Tiahrt Amendments have allowed thousands of guns to cross our border or to be purchased illegally without any oversight. These guns are now killing innocent Americans and limiting investigations by authorities," Honda, a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee and its Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Science, said in a news release.
"I have worked for years on the Appropriations Committee to repeal these amendments and believe that now is finally the time to put common sense reforms in place to stop the flow of illegal guns and end the violence," he said. "We must now ensure that the FY14 budget is clean of this language, which has never had a floor vote or a full debate."
Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, among the signatories of Honda's letter, said the amendments "block access to vital information that lawmakers, police officers, and federal agencies need to begin to tackle the epidemic of gun violence in our communities. We must treat gun violence for what it is: a public health epidemic, and no one would ever stop the Centers for Disease Control from tracking data on heart disease."
Others signing the letter include Reps. Jackie Speier, D-San Mateo; Rep. Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael; and Rep. Sam Farr, D-Santa Cruz.
CREDO and other groups intend to protest outside President Barack Obama's fundraiser next Wednesday evening in San Francisco to send a message that if he's serious about fighting climate change, he must reject the Keystone XL pipeline.
They'll be targeting the $32,500-per-person Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee fundraising dinner that Obama is headlining along with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, at the home of Ann and Gordon Getty in the Pacific Heights district.
Activists say the controversial pipeline project would accelerate climate change by speeding tar sands development and exporting dirty tar sands oil from Canada overseas. Other organizations taking part in the protest include 350.org, Friends of the Earth and the Sierra Club.
CREDO in 2011 turned out more than a thousand people at Obama's re-election campaign fundraiser in San Francisco, shortly before he first delayed his decision on the Keystone XL pipeline.