Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Tuesday that he is "extremely interested" in passing a school safety bill along with a narrow background check bill, but he is still trying to figure out a path forward. One month after a mass shooting in Florida, students and advocates across the country participate in walkouts and protests to call on Congress for action.
Since the Florida shooting, the Republican-led Congress and the Trump administration have considered measures to curb gun violence while trying to avoid crossing the powerful National Rifle Association lobby group, or threatening the right to bear arms enshrined in the U.S. Constitution's Second Amendment.
The bill, which is backed by the NRA, would fund training for students, school personnel and law enforcement to detect early signs of violence.
Since the shooting, the Federal Bureau of Investigation admitted that it had received several tips that Cruz meant to commit a violent act or was displaying disturbing behavior, but the agency failed to investigate the claims.
But the Senate has been slow to move on legislation, even on bills with bipartisan support, like the school security bill or the so-called Fix NICS legislation that would strengthen reporting to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System co-sponsored by both Nevada senators.
The Senate panel was considering a similar proposal to improve school safety, but a hearing Wednesday focused on law enforcement failures in Florida.
Hours before the vote, students were outside the Capitol to protest the lack of congressional action on gun control proposals that they claim could have prevented the February 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida.
"All across the country people are sick and exhausted of gun violence, and the time is now for all of us together to stand up to the NRA and pass common-sense gun legislation", Sanders said.
The passage comes as thousands of students across the United States walked out of their schools Wednesday on the one-month anniversary of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
The STOP School Violence Prevention Act authorizes 100 million dollars of grants a year, administered by the Justice Department, to train students, school staff, and police to identify signs of violence and intervene.
As Feinstein spoke, hundreds of students were rallying outside the Capitol to urge stricter gun control laws. She's hopeful that Congress will enact gun control laws. The biggest applause by far was for Vermont Sen.
H.R. 4909 authorizes $75 million annually for grants that state and local schools can use to improve security.
The house is expected to vote on identical legislation on Wednesday.
House lawmakers voted 407-10 to approve a bill from Rep. "The fact is, we know the kinds of steps that have to be taken to do that", he said.
The FBI has acknowledged it mishandled separate tips related to Cruz, last September and again in January.
Scalise said the bipartisan nature of the bill shows how committed Congress is to preventing future school shootings.
David Bowdich, the FBI's deputy director, said that such legislation would be helpful.