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The House of Representatives failed to approve a bill that would establish an Active Shooter Alert Communications Network, whereby the federal government would work with states and tribal authorities to set up systems to notify people in the event of an active shooter in their area.
The vote was done on a motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill, which required two thirds for approval. While a majority of members voted in favor of the bill by a count of 259-162, this fell short of the votes needed to advance the bill. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said afterwards that Democrats will continue to push for the bill.
“Our House Democratic Majority will take up this legislation again and pass it – making clear that Democrats are on the side of protecting our families and supporting our courageous first responders,” Pelosi said in a statement.
The bill would create a position within the Department of Justice known as the national coordinator of the Active Shooter Alert Communications Network. Acting in concert with the FEMA administrator, Transportation secretary, and FCC chair, the coordinator would make sure state and local governments have systems in place to respond to active shooter situations, and encourage them to develop alert systems so that local populations can be notified if there is a shooter nearby.
Pelosi blamed House Republicans for the bill’s failure, saying they “overwhelmingly” and “inexplicably” opposed “the needs of law enforcement heroes,” preventing communities from obtaining “crucial, life-saving information.”
While most Republicans opposed the bill, 44 GOP House members voted in favor of it. One Democrat, Rep. Ron Kind, D-Wis., Voted against it.
Fox News reached out to the office of Republican House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., who voted against the bill, for comment but they did not immediately respond.
The vote came the same day the Senate advanced a bipartisan gun control bill. That bill would provide funding for states to create programs that could keep weapons away from people who are deemed to be a danger to themselves or others. It would also enhance background checks for gun buyers under the age of 21, add penalties for some gun criminals, and provide funding for a variety of health- and mental health-related programs.
That bill already is seeing opposition from Republicans in the House, however, as leaders including McCarthy, House Minority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., And House GOP Conference Chair Rep. Elise Stefanik, RN.Y., have all come out against it.
“In an effort to slowly chip away at law-abiding citizens’ 2nd Amendment rights, this legislation takes the wrong approach in attempting to curb violent crimes,” Scalise said in a whip notice Wednesday.