The father of a victim of the 2018 school shooting in Parkland, Fla., ripped Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) this week after he blocked a school safety bill named in the victim’s honor, calling the move “heartbreaking.”
On Wednesday, one day after the shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, that killed 19 children and two teachers, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) pushed for the Luke and Alex School Safety Act to be passed via unanimous consent.
The legislation – named after Luke Hoyer and Alex Schachter, who were both killed in the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School – would require the Department of Homeland Security to establish a “Federal Clearinghouse on School Safety Best Practice” website.
The Clearinghouse site would provide parents, school officials, and law enforcement with tips for improving school security as well as information on available grant programs and federal resources.
Schumer (D-NY) blocked the legislation, claiming it would put more guns in schools.
“GOP Sen. Johnson just tried for a bill that could see more guns in schools—I blocked it,” the majority leader tweeted. “The truth: There were officers at the school in Texas. The shooter got past them. We need real solutions”.
“How does a website put guns in schools? It’s ridiculous. It has nothing to do with guns,” Max Schachter, Alex’s father, told Fox News Digital in response. “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 naïve to think that a horrible mass shooting would make people do the right thing,” Schachter added. “And unfortunately, you know, he didn’t. He blocked it.”
Schumer blocked the Luke and Alex School Safety Act to push a doomed vote on another piece of legislation, the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act, which passed the House after the racially-motivated May 14 shooting at a Buffalo grocery store that left 10 dead.
That bill failed to garner enough votes to move to a debate amid GOP opposition to provisions granting additional powers to the FBI, Justice Department and Department of Homeland Security.
“Everybody and their brother would have told you that the GOP was going to block it, which they did today. And so now where are we?” Schatchter said, accusing Schumer of using the legislation named after his son as “leverage.”
“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.”
Johnson also slammed Schumer over his maneuver.
“Not surprising that the Democrat leader would lie about the bill he blocked that parents of Parkland victims have been trying to pass for years,” the Wisconsin senator tweeted Wednesday. “Dems aren’t looking for solutions, they want wedge issues that they hope will keep them in power. Sick.”
All week, Democratic lawmakers have urged Schumer to call a vote on bipartisan bills passed in the House that would expand background checks on would-be gun owners – even if it ends up being just an accountability vote.
Schumer opted against the show vote this week, claiming the American people already know where each member stands on the issue of gun reform.
Instead, he has punted the issue after the Senate returns from its Memorial Day break June 6 to give senators more time to come to a compromise.
“If these negotiations do not bear any fruit, the Senate will vote on gun safety legislation when we return,” he vowed Thursday.
Both bills will need 60 votes to pass – a near-impossible goal for any gun reform bill in the evenly-split Senate.