WASHINGTON (AP) _ President Clinton plans to hold a press conference Wednesday and will begin the session by sketching his agenda for moving several popular initiatives through Congress this spring, a White House official said today.

Clinton is pressing the Republican-led Congress for new gun control laws, an overhaul of the Medicare system, a raise in the minimum wage and other issues. Clinton and congressional Democrats hope to use election-year politics to pressure Republicans to compromise, or risk handing Democrats an election issue for the fall.

After the question-and-answer session, Clinton plans a fund-raising trip to South Carolina and New York.

The White House press conference will be Clinton's second this year. At a session Feb. 15, he took questions on presidential politics with relish, even as he said he is trying to stay above the day-to-day political fray.