Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, center, puts his arm around Patrick Petty, 17, from Parkland, Fla., during a news conference with Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., left, and Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., right, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 13, 2018. Petty’s sister Alaina Petty, one of the victims of the Parkland school shooting. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
The Students, Teachers, and Officers Preventing (STOP) School Violence Act has taken an important step towards becoming law this week, as RedState can now confirm that the bill will be included in the omnibus spending bill currently being drafted in the Senate.
The bill was co-sponsored by a bipartisan group of Senators, including Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), and funds the creation of Threat Assessment Teams (TATs) to train students, teachers, and other school staff to properly identify and respond to threats against schools. Additional funding is allocated for increased school security measures and creation of anonymous reporting systems.
The families of the victims of last month’s shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, have been vocal in their support of the bill, sending an open letter to Congressional leadership. Several family members have traveled to Washington recently to meet with members of Congress and President Donald Trump’s administration to urge passage of the bill. Sandy Hook Promise, representing the family members of those killed during the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, has also endorsed the bill.
The STOP School Violence Act passed the House earlier this month in a landslide bipartisan vote of 407 to 10. Without getting too far into the weeds on Congressional procedural intricacies, the bill was unlikely to progress before the omnibus spending bill was resolved, leading Hatch, Rubio, and others to urge its inclusion in the omnibus bill itself.
Working to add #StopSchoolViolenceAct in the so called “omnibus” bill. If it is, we could see passage of this important law before the week is over. Thank you to everyone who is calling your Senators & members of congress asking that it be included. It’s making a real difference
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) March 20, 2018
For the last week Hatch has been working tirelessly with leadership in both parties and in both houses to have his #StopSchoolViolenceAct included in the Omnibus, because schools can’t wait for these lifesaving resources.
— Senator Hatch Office (@senorrinhatch) March 21, 2018
Stephen Gutowski at the Free Beacon tweeted earlier today that multiple Congressional sources had told him that the STOP School Violence Act, along with the Fix NICS bill that would address failings in the firearms purchasing background system, would both be included in the omnibus bill.
Hearing from multiple congressional sources that Fix NICS and STOP School Violence are both currently in the omnibus bill. Nothing is certain until the bill is actually introduced, though.
— Stephen Gutowski (@StephenGutowski) March 21, 2018
RedState can now confirm Gutowski’s reporting. A Senate Republican source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told me that both the STOP School Violence Act and the Fix NICS bill are indeed included in the omnibus.
The next step is for the current draft of the omnibus to be sent to the House Rules Committee for their consideration and development of rules regarding the debate and vote on the bill. Alex Moe at NBC News has been following the negotiations regarding the omnibus and tweeted just a short while ago that Chief Deputy Whip Patrick McHenry (R-NC) told her the House expects to vote on the omnibus on Thursday.
Chief Deputy Whip Rep McHenry said the House still plans to vote THURSDAY on the omnibus and doesn't see a need for a CR. Text should post soon.
— Alex Moe (@AlexNBCNews) March 21, 2018
This means that, if passed in the House, the bill could be voted on in the Senate as early as Friday.
UPDATE: Rubio tweeted confirmation of the inclusion of the STOP School Violence Act in the omnibus, calling it “great news.”
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) March 21, 2018
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