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Kamala Harris to visit California after mass shootings

Kamala Harris

Vice President Kamala Harris is planning to travel to her home state of California following a spate of mass shootings that have left at least 19 people dead in the last several days.

According to a White House official, Harris will visit Monterey Park on Wednesday to honor the victims of a mass shooting that took place there over the weekend.

President Joe Biden first disclosed Harris’ upcoming trip while speaking to reporters Tuesday as he held a meeting with the vice president and top Democratic congressional leaders at the White House about their legislative agenda, which includes a bill that would ban assault weapons.

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“Our hearts are with the people of California. They’ve been [through] a rough couple of days,” Biden said in the Roosevelt Room.

Biden noted that he visited California just last week to view the damage caused by recent floods and storms. “Then on top of that, we see what’s happened in California, and what’s happened to the Asian American community has been devastating,” he said.

“The vice president is going to be going out,” Biden said, without providing any details about her trip.

On Saturday, a gunman shot and killed 11 people and injured nine others at a dance studio in Monterey Park during an event to mark the Lunar New Year. Two days later, at least seven people were killed and one person was seriously injured after a gunman opened fire at two agricultural businesses in Half Moon Bay. And in Oakland, a separate shooting left one person dead and seven others injured.

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Biden said he’s been speaking with a number of California Democrats, including Gov. Gavin Newsom, Reps. Judy Chu and Anna Eshoo, and Hilda Solis, a member of the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors. The president also mentioned that on Monday, a group of Senate Democrats, including California’s Dianne Feinstein, reintroduced legislation to ban assault weapons.

Biden asked the group of congressional Democrats to send the measure to his desk as quickly as possible, saying it’s “really needed badly.”

However, it’s highly unlikely that an assault weapons ban — which was in place for a decade starting in 1994 until it expired in 2004 — would make it through Congress, especially with Republicans in the majority in the House

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