Trump backs bill on school safety: White House

16 March, 2018, 01:50 | Author: Barbara Daniel
  • Reuters

The #Enough National School Walkout commemorated the one-month anniversary of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 dead, and it was just the first of several planned marches and walkouts.

As evidenced by the 407 to 10 vote, the legislation doesn't tackle anything controversial dealing with guns that has been proposed since the February 14 shooting in which a former student killed 17 people and wounded 17 others at the Parkland school.

Rep. John Rutherford, R-Fla., a former sheriff and a lead sponsor of the bill, said the measure "focuses on strengthening a very important layer" to school security.

The measure, which the House approved last week, was scheduled for a Senate vote Thursday. "As lawmakers, we have the responsibility to do everything within our power to harden our schools, and this legislation takes essential steps for increasing school safety through a proactive, multi-layered approach to better identify and prevent violence".

The White House has come out in support of the bill, though it would like it amended so that it funds programs to arm teachers.

Senators made changes to legislation that already passed the House, meaning more delay before the governor can weigh in.

The chilling details of his alleged plot laid out in a police affidavit - together with a national movement to tighten gun laws in the wake of a mass shooting in Florida - has prompted a flurry of gun legislation.

Of Michigan's Congressional delegation, the only lawmaker to vote against the STOP School Violence Act was U.S. Rep. Justin Amash.

Though there is bipartisan support and cosponsorship for this bill, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said it would be an "abject failure" if that was the only gun control measure passed after the Parkland tragedy. This includes funding for school threat assessment and crisis intervention teams, support law enforcement coordination efforts and training to prevent student violence against others and self.

"David, more over, stop "Hogg-ing" the protest spotlight!"

The Students, Teachers, and Officers Preventing (STOP) School Violence Act will be offering $50 million per year towards a state grant program.

House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan told reporters the chamber would pass the bill later on Wednesday. Jacqueline Collins, a Chicago Democrat, say it's a first step to get both Republicans and Democrats on-board.

The only guns bill advanced Wednesday that would now head to Rauner's desk would put in place a 72-hour waiting period for those seeking to buy assault weapons, a "cooling off" period that's already law for handgun purchases.

The vote came as the Federal Bureau of Investigation announced it is doubling the number of supervisors assigned to review tips received from the public about possible threats of mass shootings or other violence.

The FBI has acknowledged it mishandled separate tips related to Cruz, in September and again in January. Thirteen members did not vote and that includes two members of the Florida delegation-Republican Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Democrat Frederica Wilson-who cosponsored the bill.


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