House to vote next week on school safety bill with no gun measures

House to vote next week on school safety bill with no gun measures
© Greg Nash

The House will vote next week on a school safety measure as part of the GOP's response to the Florida school shooting last month, Republican leaders said Tuesday.

Lawmakers will consider a bipartisan bill from Rep. John RutherfordJohn Henry RutherfordCarter, Yoder advance in appropriations committee leadership reshuffle Senators introduce measure floating years of prison for those who injure cops Gun protests sweep nation as House passes school safety bill MORE (R-Fla.), a former sheriff, that authorizes federal funding for prevention programs designed to educate students and adults about how to spot and report warning signs of gun violence.

“We’re trying to get people to focus on that bill,” Rep. Pete SessionsPeter Anderson SessionsHouse GOP refuses to boost funding for election security Nunes leaves in middle of hearing following questions on Russia probe Dem, GOP groups prepare spending blitz for midterms MORE (R-Texas), chairman of the House Rules Committee, told The Hill. “There’s still discussion about it. I think what’s in it, and what’s out of it, is up for discussion.”

During their weekly press conference, Republican leaders laid out how the House is responding to the deadly mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., that left 17 dead and more than a dozen others injured. 

But the House GOP strategy does not include enacting any new gun control measures, such as raising the age requirement to buy rifles.

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Instead, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyHouse leaders clash over resolution backing ICE House backs resolution expressing support for ICE House GOP reverses, cancels vote on Dem bill to abolish ICE MORE (R-Calif.) said lawmakers on the Oversight and Judiciary committees will bring in the FBI to figure out why law enforcement failed to act on repeated warnings about the suspect in the Florida shooting.

“We will also have the FBI up here talking to the Oversight and Judiciary on where the failures happened and why, to make sure they can make corrections so it can never repeat itself again,” McCarthy said.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee is also interested in exploring the link between mental health and gun violence, according to a person who was inside a GOP conference meeting on Tuesday morning. 

McCarthy also pointed to a narrow background check measure, known as the Fix NICS (National Instant Criminal Background Check System) Act, that would improve reporting to the current federal background check system for gun purchases.

The House already passed the measure, but only after it was attached to controversial legislation to allow people to carry concealed weapons across state lines, a provision that has kept the bill from passing the Senate.

Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanInterior fast tracks study of drilling's Arctic impact: report Dems unveil slate of measures to ratchet up pressure on Russia National Dems make play in Ohio special election MORE (R-Wis.) previously said they would wait to see what the Senate does with the Fix NICS Act before deciding whether to put it on the House floor as a standalone bill.

But this week, the Senate turned to banking legislation instead of the modest background check bill.