OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
As Democrats in Congress and around the country passionately call for additional new measures to protect students in schools following another grotesque massacre of youngsters at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has blocked a GOP-led bill tightening school security from consideration.
And that has angered several Republicans, some of whom have lashed out at the New York Democrat.
Fox News reports:
After the horrific mass shooting at a Uvalde, Texas, elementary school that killed 19 children and two teachers, Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisc., asked for the Luke and Alex School Safety Act to be passed by unanimous consent.
The bill, named after Parkland, Florida, shooting victims Luke Hoyer and Alex Schachter, would require the Department of Homeland Security to establish a “Federal Clearinghouse on School Safety Best Practices” for use by state and local educational and law-enforcement agencies, institutions of higher education, health professionals, and the public.
In addition, the legislation would require DHS to “collect clearinghouse data analytics, user feedback on the implementation of best practices and recommendations identified by the clearinghouse, and any evaluations conducted on these best practices and recommendations.”
The clearinghouse, which is already set up at SchoolSafety.gov, would be codified into law upon the bill’s passage.
But Schumer took to Twitter to claim that the legislation “could see more guns in schools.”
“The truth: There were officers at the school in Texas,” Schumer tweeted. “The shooter got past them. We need real solutions—We will vote on gun legislation starting with the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act.”
GOP Sen. Johnson just tried for a bill that could see more guns in schools—I blocked it.
The truth: There were officers at the school in Texas. The shooter got past them.
We need real solutions—We will vote on gun legislation starting with the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act.
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) May 25, 2022
Meanwhile, on the floor of the Senate, Schumer said that he would allow the legislation to be debated but only if Republicans agreed to also discuss the domestic terrorism measure. Sen. Johnson responded by saying that it is “a sad day for the United States Senate,” according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Johnson later tweeted: “Not surprising that the Democrat leader would lie about the bill he blocked that parents of Parkland victims have been trying to pass for years. Dems aren’t looking for solutions, they want wedge issues that they hope will keep them in power. Sick.”
Not surprising that the Democrat leader would lie about the bill he blocked that parents of Parkland victims have been trying to pass for years.
Dems aren’t looking for solutions, they want wedge issues that they hope will keep them in power. Sick. https://t.co/f4zbNb03ey
— Senator Ron Johnson (@SenRonJohnson) May 26, 2022
Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., a co-sponsor of the bill, took to Twitter to rip Schumer as “a liar and a hack.”
“This was a bill I worked on with the parents of Parkland victims. It’s named after them. You’re a liar and a hack,” he wrote.
This was a bill I worked on with the parents of Parkland victims. It’s named after them. You’re a liar and a hack. https://t.co/WKFMLTjT4x
— Rick Scott (@SenRickScott) May 25, 2022
Another co-sponsor, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., tweeted: “The truth: Schumer blocked a bipartisan bill [that] makes the school safety clearinghouse schoolsafety.gov permanent because radical left wing activists oppose it.”
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) May 25, 2022
Fox News added:
Meanwhile, the Senate is set to vote Thursday on whether to advance the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act, which passed the House last week after the Buffalo mass shooting that killed 10 people.
That bill would require the domestic terrorism components of the DHS, the Department of Justice (DOJ), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to jointly report on domestic terrorism, as well as create “an interagency task force to analyze and combat white supremacist and neo-Nazi infiltration of the uniformed services and federal law enforcement agencies.”
It’s not clear there is enough support in the Senate to clear the 60-vote filibuster threshold to advance the bill for a full vote.