President Obama will hit the road to rally Senate support for new gun controls in coming weeks, seeking to frame upcoming votes on an assault weapons ban and universal background checks as tests of political courage for skittish Democrats.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Monday that Obama would travel the country in the coming weeks to rally support for the proposals, written in the aftermath of the Newtown, Conn., elementary school shooting that left 20 children and six educators dead.

“I do anticipate that you will see the president using the power of the bully pulpit, as you describe it, by traveling across the country a little bit and talking about some of these issues,” Earnest said.