House approves bill to improve school safety

House approves bill to improve school safety

Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders says the bill will "support evidence-based violence prevention programs".

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

The Senate panel was considering a similar proposal to improve school safety, but a hearing Wednesday focused on law enforcement failures in Florida.

As students staged walkouts nationwide to demand stricter gun control, a month after the school shooting in Florida, Congress took a modest step forward that aims to prevent violence in classrooms - but failed to restrict assault weapons or improve background checks.

The legislation is one of several introduced in the wake of the February 14 massacre at Parkland High School, where 17 people were shot and killed.

The bill authorizes $50 million to boost school security, pay for "threat assessment teams" to train faculty and students about warning signs, and help law enforcement officials learn to identify potential threats in schools.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said the bill "provides a multi-layered approach" to identify threats so authorities can stop violence before it occurs. In Washington, global advocacy group Avaaz placed 7,000 pairs of shoes on the Capitol lawn to represent gun violence victims since the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre.

Fifteen-year-old Chloe Appel of Gaithersburg, Maryland, held a sign that said, "Fix this before I text my mom from under a desk". She said that, "After today and after the next protest Congress will see how many people feel strongly about this so they will have to make a change".

But a language arts teacher who survived the attack pointed the finger at Congress, saying its inability to enact gun control legislation is allowing mass shootings to happen.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and other lawmakers addressed the crowd.

House approves bill to improve school safety

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders told the students that young people again are leading the nation, as they did during the civil rights and anti-war movements. Bernie Sanders. Students chanted his name and almost drowned out his speech.

The funding would be distributed to states through grant money over 10 years.

The House is set to vote on the measure Wednesday.

The White House said in a statement Wednesday that Trump's top priority is to keep the American people safe from those who wish to do them harm or to inflict terror upon them.

"While we will never know if any such investigative activity would have prevented this tragedy, we clearly should have done more", Bowdich told the Senate Judiciary Committee.

In the Senate, the Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the Florida shooting and failures by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and law enforcement to act on warning signs displayed by the gunman before the attack.

The FBI has acknowledged it mishandled separate tips related to Cruz, last September and again in January.

David Bowdich, the FBI's deputy director, said that such legislation would be helpful.

Scalise said the bipartisan nature of the bill shows how committed Congress is to preventing future school shootings.

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