This is Day 26 of the administration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.
- Biden calls on Congress to take action on gun reform on 3rd anniversary of Parkland shooting
- 1st tweet from Biden after impeachment vote is focused on COVID relief
- Why Biden allies in Senate opposed calling witnesses: Sources
- Biden calls on Congress to pass COVID-19 relief
- Biden, Harris meet with bipartisan group of governors, mayors
Biden calls on Congress to take action on gun reform on 3rd anniversary of Parkland shooting
In a statement marking the 3 year anniversary of the Parkland Shooting, President Biden is calling on Congress to take action on gun control reform.
"This Administration will not wait for the next mass shooting to heed that call. We will take action to end our epidemic of gun violence and make our schools and communities safer. Today, I am calling on Congress to enact commonsense gun law reforms, including requiring background checks on all gun sales, banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and eliminating immunity for gun manufacturers who knowingly put weapons of war on our streets," Biden said in the statement. "We owe it to all those we’ve lost and to all those left behind to grieve to make a change. The time to act is now."
Senior members of the Biden administration met with gun control advocacy groups virtually last week to discuss other "commonsense gun law reforms," but to date, Biden has not addressed the issue in Congress on in any of his executive actions in the early days of his administration.
Biden acknowledged the pain of the Parkland families on the 3rd anniversary of the shooting that claimed the lives of 17, but also addressed the issue as a whole, and noted the disproportionate impact of gun violence on communities of color.
"All across our nation, parents, spouses, children, siblings, and friends have known the pain of losing a loved one to gun violence. And in this season of so much loss, last year’s historic increase in homicides across America, including the gun violence disproportionately devastating Black and Brown individuals in our cities, has added to the number of empty seats at our kitchen tables. Today, as we mourn with the Parkland community, we mourn for all who have lost loved ones to gun violence," the statement read.
-ABC News' Molly Nagle
1st tweet from Biden after impeachment vote is focused on COVID relief
Following the Senate impeachment vote Saturday -- in which seven Republicans voted guilty, and Trump was acquitted -- the first tweet posted to Biden's account highlighted his bipartisan meeting Friday with mayors and governors in the Oval Office on the American Rescue plan.
"America’s governors and mayors understand the fight against COVID-19 and the urgency of another relief bill. Yesterday, I met with a bipartisan group of them to discuss the American Rescue Plan and how we can work together to meet the crises we face," the POTUS account tweeted with a photo of the meeting.
The White House continuously dodged questions on impeachment this week, saying the administration’s focus was on helping Americans struggling amid the pandemic.
-ABC News’ Molly Nagle
Why Biden allies in Senate opposed calling witnesses: Sources
Biden allies in the Senate told House impeachment managers during their deliberation Saturday afternoon that they opposed calling witnesses, making it clear that calling witnesses would take away from the president’s agenda and had the potential to derail COVID-19 relief, according to multiple sources close to the deliberations behind the scenes.
A White House official told ABC News that the White House was not involved with discussions over calling witnesses or the deal that was made.
The Senate Saturday voted 55-45 to hear from witnesses, but then the Trump legal team and House impeachment managers came to the agreement to admit the written testimony of Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Wash., into evidence and not request further witnesses.
Herrera Beutler, one of ten House Republicans who voted to impeach, tweeted a statement Friday reiterating comments she made about a talk she had with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy regarding Trump's involvement in the Capitol siege.
In Herrera Beutler's statement, she reiterated her claims -- which she made earlier to Washington newspaper The Daily News -- that McCarthy spoke to Trump as rioters stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, but Trump refused to stop them.
-ABC News’ Cecilia Vega, Katherine Faulders and Ben Siegel
State Department raises Myanmar travel advisory level
The U.S. Department of State raised Myanmar's travel advisory level to "Level 4: Do Not Travel" Friday, as protests against the military's seizure of power earlier this month continue.
The updated travel advisory states to not travel to Myanmar "due to COVID-19 as well as areas of civil unrest and armed conflict."
"The Burmese military has detained and deposed elected government officials," the travel advisory states. "Protests and demonstrations against military rule have occurred and are expected to continue."
The State Department has not ordered the evacuation of U.S. Embassy staff at this time.
-ABC News' Conor Finnegan