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 RutherfordEd Markey, John Rutherford among victors at charity pumpkin-carving contest 'Mass shooting' at Florida video game tournament: authorities Carter, Yoder advance in appropriations committee leadership reshuffle 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 SessionsTenth Congressional Black Caucus member backs Biden Giuliani held phone call with Maduro amid Venezuela crisis Texas GOP rep predicts heavy Democratic presence in state ahead of 2020 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 McCarthyFox's Wallace: Nadler would pay to have his Clinton impeachment remarks 'expunged from the Earth' McCarthy raises over million in Q4 for House GOP GOP leader warns lawmakers on fundraising: 'Getting our ass kicked' 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 RyanThe Hill's Morning Report — Dems detail case to remove Trump for abuse of power Social security emerges as latest flash point in Biden-Sanders tussle Hill.TV's Saagar Enjeti rips Sanders for 'inability to actually fight with bad actors' in party 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.