The father of a student who died in the 2018 Parkland, Florida, school shooting expressed disappointment over Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s decision to block a school safety bill named after his son.
Republican Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin — the bill’s primary sponsor — addressed the Senate on Wednesday, requesting that the upper chamber of Congress provide unanimous consent for the 2021 Luke and Alex School Safety Act. Unanimous consent would have facilitated expedited proceedings for the legislation.
Schumer was one of the Democratic senators who opposed granting unanimous consent to the bill, blocking it from going through the expedited track.
“GOP Sen. Johnson just tried for a bill that could see more guns in schools — I blocked it,” Schumer later wrote in a tweet.
“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.”
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
The bill, named after Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting victims Alex Schachter and Luke Hoyer, would have ordered the Department of Homeland Security to create a Federal Clearinghouse on School Safety Best Practices, according to Fox News.
The clearinghouse would have provided educational institutions, law enforcement agencies and the general public with information on school safety.
“Today I brought to the Senate floor a nonpartisan bill, a bill crafted by the parents, the parents who lost their sons in one of these horrific tragedies,” Johnson said Wednesday.
“It passed our committee twice, unanimously. Those parents asked me to come today to please pass this bill, take some action, provide some comfort to all the parents that are grieving, to a nation that is grieving.”
“It is just sad that this body can’t pass this bill when about a month ago, they passed an identical bill that applied to churches,” Johnson said. “This one applies to schools, and yet it’s inappropriate, according to the majority leader, to pass this nonpartisan bill by unanimous consent.”
Alex Schachter’s father, Max Schachter, expressed dismay over Schumer’s decision in an interview with Fox, calling it “heartbreaking.” He slammed the Democrat’s tweet on the bill as “completely false.”
“How does a website put guns in schools? It’s ridiculous,” Schachter said. “It has nothing to do with guns. It’s just a website of best practices. It doesn’t mandate anything.”
“I thought that after 19 children and two teachers were just murdered in Uvalde, Texas, partisan politics will be put aside and that families might at least have some positive news out of Congress from their elected leaders.”
“I was naive to think that a horrible mass shooting would make people do the right thing. And unfortunately, you know, he didn’t. He blocked it,” Schachter said, accusing Schumer of holding the bill hostage to get “leverage” for the Democrat-sponsored Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act.
The “domestic terrorism” bill failed Thursday with all Republicans voting against it, Fox reported.
“I blame both parties,” Schachter continued. “The Republicans don’t want to give the Democrats a win, but the Democrats don’t want to give the Republicans a win either. And then who suffers? The American people. It’s ridiculous. They should do their damn job.”
“After Parkland, a lot of the parents went in different directions,” Schachter said. “I chose to go toward school safety, because I thought that it was nonpartisan and bipartisan. And then to see that it just went that same way of all these other issues is really defeating.”
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