But when it comes to what kind of action, the White House is staying purposefully vague. The president still has no official position on universal background checks for gun sales, and has endorsed no actual legislation when it comes to age restrictions on purchasing the type of weapon used in the Parkland massacre.
“It would be premature for us to weigh in,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said, as if the concept of changing the age limitations on gun purchases is a new idea.
The president revealed Monday that he made time to have lunch with NRA leaders over the weekend. Those leaders, in turn, don’t seem concerned about the possibility that they’ll be warring with the White House anytime soon.
The first push toward some congressional action on background checks will come today in the Senate. With that comes an early test for the president to shepherd policy after Parkland.
The RUNDOWN with MaryAlice Parks
Today is the last day with votes scheduled in the House before the president’s stated deadline for ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program, and, as of now, the House has no plan to take up an immigration bill.
So just like that, in a congressional blink of an eye, the only deadline thought perhaps harsh and extreme enough to move lawmakers to action will likely come and go next Monday.
March 5 was always an arbitrary deadline. The Department of Justice could have scrapped it at and elected to extend the Obama-era program at any point. They could have stopped fighting to shutter the program in the courts, but instead, they bulldozed forward.
The ongoing court battles have provided some judicial cover for the legislative standstill. It’s true, the recent injunctions issued by two federal judges mean the Department of Homeland Security will likely continue to issue DACA status renewals, even though the Trump administration says it is not processing any new applications.
But while members of Congress may say the courts have taken away any urgency on the issue, for the nearly 700,000 Dreamers in the DACA program — their families and communities — any day after next Monday is still a big, glaring drop-dead date — a day that was supposed to inspire change and result in some resolution, but instead has left them with ever-present uncertainty.
The TIP with Karen Travers
President Trump is getting slammed on social media after his re-election campaign sent out an email over the weekend that included a photo of a Parkland, Florida, shooting survivor in the hospital being visited by the president and first lady.
The photo, showing 17-year-old Madeline Wilford in her hospital bed, was also sent out by email from the White House press office as part of its compilation of “Photos of the Week.”
It’s not clear whether Wilford’s family approved use of the photo but critics say it’s inappropriate to include it at the top of an email (subject line “Safer Schools”) that asks for campaign donations.
One Stoneman Douglas student posted an angry message on Twitter, saying, in part, “If you truly cared, maybe you would have stayed at the hospital longer than 20 minutes.”
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY
• President Trump will meet with Senate Republicans to discuss renewable fuel standards at 11 a.m. in the Oval Office. The president also meets with House Republicans to discuss trade at 2:45 p.m.
• President Trump will make an announcement on additional leadership in the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the Oval Office at 4 p.m.
• White House communications director Hope Hicks is scheduled to appear behind closed doors before the House Intelligence Committee as part of its investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election.
• Attorney General Jeff Sessions delivers remarks at the National Association of Attorneys General Winter Meeting in Washington D.C. at 8:45 a.m.
• House Democrats hold a news conference on gun safety legislation on Capitol Hill at 9:30 a.m.
• Catholic nuns from across the country will participate in “Detain a Nun — Not a Dreamer,” demanding House Speaker Paul Ryan and other Catholic lawmakers embrace Catholic social principles and protect nearly 700,000 Dreamers from deportation. The nuns will gather outside the Russell Senate Office Building at 10:30 a.m.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“You don’t know until you’re tested, but I think I really believe I’d run in there even if I didn’t have a weapon.” – President Trump, who criticized the deputy who did not go inside Parkland, Florida, high school during the recent mass shooting, speaking to the nation’s governors at the White House.
NEED TO READ
Trump says bump stocks are ‘gone’ even if Congress doesn’t act. President Donald Trump said he believes he would have intervened in the school shooting in Parkland, Florida almost two weeks ago. (Stephanie Ebbs) http://abcn.ws/2EWMTgc
Governors divided on path forward on school safety. As the nation’s governors gathered in Washington this weekend for their annual meeting, their conversations on the sidelines and even during a high profile meeting with President Donald Trump on Monday showed that they are as deeply conflicted as federal lawmakers on what to do about gun violence and safety in schools. (Emily Goodin and Esther Castillejo) http://abcn.ws/2BUukXC
First transgender recruit joins US military as Trump debates policy. The first transgender recruit is under contract to serve in the U.S. military, the Pentagon confirmed Monday. (Elizabeth McLaughlin) http://abcn.ws/2sXz6k3
Bernie Sanders’ son announces run for Congress from New Hampshire. A new – and familiar – name has joined the list of candidates running in New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional District race: Levi Sanders, the son of the 2016 presidential candidate. (Dominick Proto) http://abcn.ws/2Cp1Fe7
Mexican president’s US visit canceled after phone call with Trump. Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto was preparing to visit the U.S. and meet with President Donald Trump until a phone call last week devolved into a testy exchange over Trump’s proposed border wall, two senior administration officials confirmed to ABC News. (Conor Finnegan and Jordyn Phelps) http://abcn.ws/2CJtzNG
ANALYSIS: Trump administration unable or unwilling to stop new Syria bloodshed. In the hours since the United Nations Security Council voted Saturday to call for a ceasefire in Syria, the regime of Bashar al-Assad has continued to bomb the same rebel enclave of east Ghouta in the Damascus suburbs where horrific death and destruction caused the U.N. to act in the first place. (Conor Finnegan) http://abcn.ws/2CJVBZs
Supreme Court declines Trump administration’s request to hear DACA case. The Supreme Court Monday declined to review a federal judge’s order continuing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program — a move that stymies the Trump administration’s efforts to quickly end the program. (Audrey Taylor) http://abcn.ws/2Fyfzcv
ACLU: Trump administration forcibly separating asylum-seekers from their children. In a break from previous administrations, Donald Trump’s Department of Homeland Securityis forcibly separating asylum-seekers from their children when they arrive in the U.S., according to the American Civil Liberties Union. (Lauren Pearle)http://abcn.ws/2GLrD9Y
Profits from foreign government patrons donated to US Treasury: Trump Organization. Before his inauguration, when he announced he would hand his company over to his two sons, Eric and Don Jr., then President-elect Donald Trump pledged to donate all profits from foreign government patrons at his hotels and other properties. (Benjamin Siu) http://abcn.ws/2CnR436
Trump’s longtime personal pilot being considered to lead FAA. President Donald Trump is considering tapping his longtime personal pilot John Dunkin to head up the Federal Aviation Administration. (Jordyn Phelps) http://abcn.ws/2ouf4sI
Rhode Island sets new ‘red flag’ policy after Florida school shooting. Five states – Connecticut, California, Washington, Oregon and Indiana – have taken similar action on potential red flags in recent years, but Rhode Island is the first to do so since the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida, earlier this month. (Karma Allen) http://abcn.ws/2F5qkp9
Conservative Actress Stacey Dash running for deep-blue House seat. Actress Stacey Dash, an outspoken conservative, has filed papers with the Federal Election Commission to run for Congress this year in a deep-blue House district just south of Los Angeles. (Emily Goodin) http://abcn.ws/2F5aWsH
A showdown in the Georgia legislature threatens to kill a tax cut for one of the state’s largest employer, Delta Air Lines, after Delta removed a discount fare program for the NRA, reports the New York Times. http://nyti.ms/2BTu4Ia
The Note is a daily ABC News feature that highlights the key political moments of the day ahead. Please check back tomorrow for the latest.