Colorado Republicans Bristle As White House Meddles In State’s Gun Control Debate

Republican lawmakers in Colorado say they want the White House to stay out of their state battle over gun control, accusing Vice President Biden of personally leaning on Democratic legislators for their votes in a tight campaign that could change the national conversation on gun rights.

Republican state Rep. Carole Murray told she doesn’t appreciate “East Coast politics” interfering in her state.

The concern comes ahead of a tense Senate vote — which could come late next week — and after a vote in the House that prompted the White House to take the unusual step of lobbying wavering Democrats. Biden’s office confirmed to he made four phone calls to Colorado Democrats, two in moderate districts, but did not say what they were about.

Multiple sources, though, tell that about eight hours into last week’s 12-hour House debate, Biden called Democrats Mark Ferrandino, Mike McLachlan, Tony Exum and Dominick Moreno to solidify support for the measures and to “remind them about the importance of the legislation.”

House lawmakers in Colorado, home to two of the deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history, narrowly passed a handful of gun control bills last week. The measures are headed to the Senate in early March where they are expected to face an uphill battle, though it’s unclear what steps the White House might take this time to solidify support.

Explaining the substance of the Biden call last week, Exum told The Denver Post the vice president “said it would send a strong message to the rest of the country that a western state had passed gun-control bills.”

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