Cornyn Gives Update on Negotiations on Mental Health, School Safety After Mass Shootings

This week on the floor, I gave an update on the ongoing bipartisan negotiations on potential mental health and school safety legislation. Excerpts of my remarks are below, and video can be found here.

Senator Murphy from Connecticut, Senator Tillis from North Carolina, Senator Sinema from Arizona, and I have been looking at these various factors… that might have prevented some of these tragedies.

To me, that’s the best way to look at this: to say, if this had been in place, is it less likely that this tragedy would have occurred? Stated another way, if we do this, is there a chance or a probability that we could save lives in the future? To me, that should be our focus.

We are making steady progress. It is early in the process, but I'm optimistic about where things stand right now.

There's a lot of common ground on things we can agree on here: safer schools, better mental health resources, coming up with additional assistance that will harden our schools and provide greater deterrence and protection for our students.

This is not about creating new restrictions on law-abiding citizens. It's about ensuring that the system we already have in place works as intended.

We're looking at taking steps to encourage states to upload juvenile records into the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. This is standard practice in some, but not most, states. And it's easy to see why it's important. If we're uploading information about adults’… mental health adjudications but we don't have access to juveniles’ mental health adjudications, to me, that's a problem.

I think this is a commonsense way to make sure that the National Instant Criminal Background Check databases are complete and they're accurate. That's not about expanding the system. That's about making sure the system we have actually works.

I'm encouraged by the progress we're making, but I don't think artificial deadlines are useful. The Majority Leader, Senator Schumer, has threatened to schedule votes if an agreement isn't reached by a certain time. I don't think that's particularly helpful.

I am optimistic because of the progress we've made so far that we will do something here that's important. That will save lives.


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