A nationwide surge in violent crime has emerged as a growing area of concern inside the White House, where President Biden and his aides have listened with alarm as local authorities warn a brutal summer of killing lies ahead.
Biden plans to address the spike in shootings, armed robberies and vicious assaults on Wednesday afternoon following a meeting with state and local officials, law enforcement representatives and others involved in combating the trend.
He hopes to dampen what has already become a cudgel for Republicans eager to run a "law and order" campaign in next year's midterm elections.
The President is poised to announce a comprehensive crime reduction strategy on Wednesday, officials said, in hopes of reducing gun violence and addressing the root causes of the spike.
He plans to sign executive actions with a particular focus on tamping down gun crimes, according to officials, while again calling on Congress to take steps to enact new gun control laws. He is also set to press Congress to confirm David Chipman as his nominee to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Already, the uptick is becoming a potent political issue for a President who worked over the past two years to carefully calibrate his approach to criminal justice, resisting pressure from the left to support defunding the police while justifying his role in writing major anti-crime bills from the 1990s. Biden entered office with a mandate to his team on reducing gun violence, according to officials, and has been acutely aware that crime rates have been spiking over the past year.
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