Sen. Cruz Fights to Pass Two School Safety Bills on Senate Floor
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today on the Senate floor, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) reintroduced and fought for the immediate passage of his Securing Our Schools Act and the Protect Our Children’s Schools Act. The bills would improve school security and access to student mental health resources and allow schools to use unspent, previously appropriated federal COVID-19 education-related funding to improve school security.
Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) objected to Sen. Cruz’s effort and blocked both bills from passing the Senate, without explaining which policies within the bills he opposed. Sen. Murphy previously objected to both bills last Congress.
Sen. Cruz previously introduced both bills in the 117th Congress. Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) is cosponsor of the Securing Our Schools Act. Rep. Randy Weber (R-Texas) is the House sponsor of the Protect Our Children’s Schools Act.
On the floor, Sen. Cruz said:
“I wish I wasn’t back here today. I wish this had passed last year. … You know, when you go to the bank and you deposit money in the bank, there are armed police officers at the bank. Why? Because we want to protect the money we save. Why on earth do we protect a stupid deposit more than our children? … We have an opportunity right now to double the police officers on campus and keep kids safe.”
Watch the video of Sen. Cruz’s floor speech, and his debate with Sen. Murphy, here.
About these bills and the need for better school safety, Sen. Cruz said:
“This past Monday, the parents of three beautiful children and the families of three adults had their lives shattered by an act of senseless and premeditated violence. Words cannot express the loss these families are experiencing. Never again will these families feel the warm embrace or hear the laughter of their loved ones and this tragedy will leave a hole in the hearts and lives of everyone who knew the victims of this crime. I have spent my career, both as Texas Solicitor General and as a Senator, working to keep criminals off the streets and to keep our communities safe. I am deeply committed to improving school security, which is why I am working to pass my school safety legislation to ensure that when a child leaves for school they can be protected from acts of senseless violence and will return home to the loving arms of their parents. These bills would be the most significant investment in school security ever enacted by Congress—doubling the number of police officers in schools and improving the physical security of our schools. I call on my colleagues to act with me and pass this legislation now to protect our children in school.”
Rep. Weber said:
“In the wake of another horrific tragedy, we have a duty and responsibility to ensure the safety of our children and teachers by hardening our schools. It is past time to use the unspent COVID slush fund to strengthen and enhance our local schools’ security systems. We clearly have the resources to protect our schools and their most precious occupants—our children and their teachers. This bill is a serious, concrete step that we can and should take to prevent such tragedies in the future.”
Read the Securing Our Schools Act here.
Read the Protect Our Children’s Schools Act here.
- Sen. Cruz has been focused on protecting our students by increasing and improving physical school security his entire Senate career. Following the Uvalde tragedy, Sen. Cruz and Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), introduced the “Safe Kids, Safe Schools, Safe Communities Act of 2022.”
- Last Fall, Sen. Cruz introduced the Securing Our Schools Act (Cruz-Barrasso).
- Cruz-Barrasso included funding for enhanced school security, including doubling school resource officers, hiring more school-based mental health counselors, and expanding the nonprofit security grant program.
- In July 2022, Sen. Cruz introduced the Protect Our Children’s Schools Act, which would have allowed all unobligated and unspent COVID-19 Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funding to be used to enhance K-12 physical school security. Read the release here.
- In 2013 he first introduced Cruz-Grassley, a comprehensive effort to make schools and communities safer by simultaneously targeting violent criminals and safeguarding the Second Amendment.