President Obama will mark the one-year anniversary of the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting on Saturday with a moment of silence, according to a White House official.
Still unknown is whether the White House will use the anniversary to renew their call for expanded background checks. Following last year’s massacre, during which 20 schoolchildren and six educators were killed, the president proposed a renewed assault weapon ban, limits on the capacity of magazine clips and universal background checks on all gun purchases.
Those efforts were stymied in the Senate earlier this year, although White House officials have insisted that the president will continue to push Congress for new gun controls.
On Tuesday, Vice President Biden announced $100 million in funding for mental health services and facilities at a White House event with families of the victims.
The funds will go to help community health centers establish or expand services for those living with mental illness and addiction. A loan program through the Department of Agriculture will also help finance the construction, expansion, or improvement of mental health facilities in rural areas. The money is also available for installing new mental health tools, like a telemedicine program that will allow mental health workers to serve rural areas remotely.
Separately, Organizing for Action (OFA), the political advocacy group born from the Obama-Biden reelection campaign, has already asked supporters to host events around the Newtown anniversary calling on “Congress to finally take action to make our communities safer."
OFA says it intends the events to be a "powerful reminder of what we lost a year ago, and a reminder that we as a nation need to do more to prevent gun violence and keep our communities safe."
Last week, White House press secretary Jay Carney declined to provide details of how the president would mark a year since the mass shooting.
“That day for him and I think for all of us will stick in our memories forever. In terms of what he or we will be doing around that anniversary, I don’t have any information to provide today. But it certainly will be a somber occasion,” Carney said.