Senate Democrats Block Payments To Bolster Faculty Safety, Psychological Well being Sources

Senate Democrats Block Payments To Bolster Faculty Safety, Psychological Well being Sources

Democrats Sen. Chris Murphy slammed GOP laws as “theater” Sen. Chris Murphy (D., Conn.) /

Sen. Chris Murphy slammed GOP laws as “theater”

Sen. Chris Murphy (D., Conn.) / Getty Photos

Josh Christenson • September 16, 2022 4:00 pm

Senate Democrats on Wednesday blocked two payments from Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) that might have used COVID-19 stimulus funds to bolster college safety and psychological well being sources for college kids.

The Securing Our Colleges Act, which was cosponsored by Sen. John Barrasso (R., Wyo.), would double the variety of cops in public, constitution, and personal faculties, strengthen bodily safety measures like alarms and locks, and put 1000’s of psychological well being professionals in public faculties. The Defend Our Youngsters’s Colleges Act ​​would fund that effort, appropriating billions of {dollars} in unspent education-related COVID funding. Sen. Chris Murphy (D., Conn.) objected on the Senate flooring to each, killing the laws after Cruz sought unanimous consent.

Murphy known as Cruz’s legislative push “theater.” Cruz responded he was “genuinely flabbergasted” Murphy would object to the invoice with out debating its deserves.

“If one other lunatic assaults a faculty, and there’s not a police officer on the entrance door to cease it, bear in mind proper now,” Cruz mentioned. “Bear in mind this second when the Democrats mentioned, ‘No, we is not going to defend our youngsters.’”

The payments are the newest college security measures Senate Democrats have blocked for the reason that lethal capturing at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas, in Could. Days after the capturing, Senate Majority Chief Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) axed a invoice that might have tasked Homeland Safety with accumulating college security information and offering suggestions to regulation enforcement.

The Cruz payments would have allotted $25 billion to put safety officers and psychological well being employees in faculties and tripled FEMA’s grant program for varsity safety. Cruz’s payments would have barred faculties that educate essential race principle or advocate for abortion from accessing the funds.

Murphy mentioned he was in legislative talks with a extra “critical legislator,” Sen. James Lankford (R., Okla.), a couple of related college safety invoice. An aide in Lankford’s workplace advised the Washington Free Beacon that Murphy was mistaken and the 2 senators are collaborating on a unique training invoice. Lankford cosponsored Cruz’s college safety invoice when it was launched in July.

“Colleges ought to have the flexibleness to entry unspent COVID funds to strengthen college security,” Lankford mentioned in a press launch on the time. There may be $135 billion in leftover education-related COVID aid.

Cruz advised CBS Information on Tuesday he hoped the funds for psychological well being professionals would discover early “warning indicators” amongst troubled youngsters. “A few of these crimes might be stopped earlier than they’re carried out,” he mentioned.

Murphy partnered with Sen. John Cornyn (R., Texas) on one other college security invoice in June, which President Joe Biden signed into regulation the identical month. That regulation elevated screening measures for some gun patrons. The general college funding was a fraction of the Cruz invoice, allotting $2 billion for psychological well being sources and $300 million for varsity safety.

On Wednesday, Cruz known as the regulation a “huge gun management bundle” that “will do nothing—zero—to cease mass murders.”

“There is no cash on the left for truly stopping these crimes,” Cruz said. “The cash is for disarming law-abiding residents.”

A spokeswoman for Murphy didn’t reply to a request for remark.