BREAKING: STOP School Violence Act Included in Omnibus, Could Pass into Law Within Days

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. Hatch is the lead sponsor of the school safety bill, aiming to replicate the success of a program in his home state of Utah. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

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.

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.

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.

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.”

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