House Of Representatives Easily Passes Bill To Address School Violence

House Of Representatives Easily Passes Bill To Address School Violence

In the House, members voted to pass the STOP School Violence Act, a bill that reauthorizes a 2001 Justice Department program created to prevent school violence.

Rep. Chris Stewart said the bill would help "ensure our kids are safe at school" and noted the millions of dollars that would help school boards improve security, seek crisis intervention and coordinate with law enforcement. It would also fund anonymous reporting systems and physical security additions to schools, like locks, panic buttons and metal detectors.

"I didn't get a chance that morning to say goodbye to my daughter, but I'm here today to make sure that I'm one of the last fathers who has to bury a daughter, son or loved one from a senseless act of violence in a school", Petty said.

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, introduced a companion bill in the Senate, which also has bipartisan support.

Wednesday also marks one month since 19-year-old alleged gunman Nikolas Cruz opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., killing 17 individuals.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., appeared with students outside the Capitol at the rally to protest inaction by lawmakers to address gun violence.

On Wednesday, a Senate panel grilled Federal Bureau of Investigation officials over the agency's failures to act on tips received about Parkland shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz.

Republicans and Democrats sponsored the STOP School Violence Act, filed by Rep. John Rutherford, R-Fla., that would authorize $500 million over 10 years to train instructors and administrators to detect warning signs and prevent future school shootings. And as they did, Congress responded-sort of. "And we must rally around consensus, evidenced-based solutions that will protect our nation's most valuable resource -- its youth -- from violent attacks".

Both of Florida's senators - Republican Marco Rubio and Democrat Bill Nelson - testified at the hearing.

The House is set to vote on the measure Wednesday. The bill will provide grants to states, incentivizing them to enact these measures. And while it received overwhelming bipartisan support―only 10 members opposed it―Democrats have sharply criticized GOP lawmakers for not doing more to curtail access to guns.

President Donald Trump supported an increased age limit of 21 years for purchases of assault rifles immediately after the Florida shooting, but backed off the proposal in the weeks since and concentrated his approach on school safety.

A Senate version of that bill has enough support to pass, based on the more than 60 senators who have signed on as co-sponsors.

Eleven organizations, including some gun control and law enforcement groups, wrote to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican, and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer urging passage this month of the background checks bill.

As numerous other lawmakers backing the bill have cautioned, Hatch said he views the Stop School Violence Act as only part of the solution.

The Students, Teachers and Officers - or STOP - School Violence Act authored by Rep. "Hopefully the Senate can act on that legislation", Speaker Paul D. Ryan said Wednesday before the vote. The statement calls the bill a good step.

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