In the wake of the deadly mass shooting inside the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, it appears that Capitol Hill’s constituents would rather quarrel with one another than actually get something done about the growing issue in America. Just a day after the massacre took place, Sen. Rick Scott and Sen. Ron Johnson took to the Senate floor to call on the legislatures to codify a federal clearinghouse proposal for a school safety bill. But nearly as quick as it was introduced, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer shut it down, blocking the school safety bill.
The school safety bill, which was co-sponsored by the two Senators, was formerly called the Luke and Alex School Safety Act. The modest, Republican-backed piece of legislation was named after two victims of the deadly Parkland school shooting that claimed the lives of 17 people. As Schumer lambasted the act, a heated debate ensued.
Instantly objecting to the two Senators’ requests, Schumer said it was not a “sufficient solution.” Furthermore, he went on to argue that hardening schools – as many Republicans are now calling for – would not have prevented the killing of the 19 young elementary students and 2 heroic teachers on Tuesday morning. Going on, the Senator also decried the school safety bill as a matter which would only worsen the problem, stating that it would lead to more guns inside schools.
Senator Rick Scott took to Twitter to berate the Senate Majority leader. Reinstating the fact that he himself worked closely with the families of victims of the Parkland mass shooting, he called Schumer a “liar and a hack.” Additionally, he used the opportunity to showcase that Democratic lawmakers aren’t looking for solutions as they turned down the school safety bill.
During a time when both aisles of government are calling for measures to address the growing issue at which school shooting incidents are occurring within the United States, it is absurd to many to see Democratic lawmakers shut down such a temperate measure. This school safety bill is not at all contentious, compared to other Republican measures that liberals are criticizing like adding officers and therefore more guns in school.
The school safety bill, instead, merely would codify into law the Federal Clearinghouse on School Safety. This would make available on schoolsafety.gov more information for parents and educators in regards to best practices that schools can implement to improve school security. Likewise, it would entail information on federal resources and grant programs that can be used to fund safety measures. It has nothing to do with gun politics, so it is no wonder so many are upset with the semantics that led to Schumer’s blocking of the measure.
Still, Newsweek is now reporting that Schumer wasn’t necessarily against the school safety bill. They say that he is now saying that he simply would rather focus on something more important to liberals, which is gun reform laws. But it is hard to overlook the fact that political schematics are likely also at play. Senator Johnson just so happens to be on the ballot for reelection to the Senate this year, and Senator Scott is leading the group trying to win back Republican control in the Senate. It is clear that a political agenda is always at play – across party lines – even during times of great tragedy.