As schoolchildren staged a walkout across the country to press for tougher gun controls, Congress took modest steps Wednesday to prevent violence in classrooms — even as lawmakers continued squabbling over broader action to curb gun rights.The House overwhelmingly passed the first federal legislation to address gun violence or school safety since the Feb. 14 shooting massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., that left 17 dead.Lawmakers passed the STOP School Violence Act of 2018, 407 to 10. The vote came hours after thousands of students marched through the streets of Washington and walked out of schools across the country to build support for similar legislation.The bill reauthorizes a program created in 2001 through the Justice Department to prevent threats against school. The legislation authorizes $50 million to intensify school security, pay for federal “threat assessment teams” to help school districts sort through reported threats, create an anonymous reporting system so that students and others can report threats and pay for training and technical assistance programs for law enforcement and school officials to help identify potentially violent behavior.
It’s not much, but it shows that they’re feeling the pressure.
* Jeff Hauser explains how the administration is using interim appointments to U.S. Attorney positions to do an end run around the confirmation process and install Trump-friendly prosecutors for extended periods.
* Robert Schlesinger examines the troubling implications of the Republicans’ “blame Russia last” strategy.