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Joe Biden expected to visit Lewiston on Friday

Flowers and signs honoring the victims of the Lewiston mass shooting are seen in front of Schemengees Bar & Grille Restaurant in Lewiston, Maine on Sunday, Oct. 29, 2023. (Raquel C. Zaldívar/New England News Collaborative)
Raquel C. Zaldívar
/
New England News Collaborative
Flowers and signs honoring the victims of the Lewiston mass shooting are seen in front of Schemengees Bar & Grille Restaurant in Lewiston, Maine on Sunday, Oct. 29, 2023. (Raquel C. Zaldívar/New England News Collaborative)

Gov. Janet Mills says she expects President Joe Biden will visit Lewiston later this week in the wake of the worst mass shooting in state history.

Mills says that she invited the president to come to Lewiston and that he'll likely arrive Friday, although the exact details of his visit were not yet known.

The governor says President Biden's own experience with loss and grief make him uniquely suited to console a community shaken by a mass shooting that claimed the lives of 18 people and wounded 13 others.

"We've seen him appear in such circumstances and offer not only a helping hand, but a very sympathetic ear," she said. "He's a very comforting person and he's able to offer that comfort and support to any families who wish to see him and meet with him."}

In the immediate aftermath of last week's mass shooting, Biden called on Republicans in Congress to "fulfill their duty to protect the American people” and pass legislation banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. He also wants Congress to support universal background checks, safe storage of guns and to end liability immunity for gun manufacturers.

Such proposals typically don't gain much traction in Congress or the Maine Legislature, where Democrats control the House, Senate and governor's office.

Journalist Steve Mistler is Maine Public’s chief politics and government correspondent. He is based at the State House.