Cornyn Gives Update on Key Issues in School Safety, Mental Health Negotiations


In: All News   Posted 06/15/2022
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We’ve run into a couple of bumps in the road that have slowed things down a little bit.

"The details of these provisions are critical for support from my colleagues on this side of the aisle, and I hope our colleagues across the aisle will understand if we continue down this path without resolution that we're jeopardizing the timetable that the Majority Leader has set out for us, or we're jeopardizing the likelihood we can get to 60 votes for anything."

"I'm eager to wrap up our negotiations, but we're not going to cut corners or capitulate for the sole purpose of passing something."

WASHINGTON – Today on the floor, U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) discussed the ongoing negotiations and agreement on potential school safety and mental health legislation. Excerpts of Sen. Cornyn’s remarks are below, and video can be found here.

“We’ve run into a couple of bumps in the road that have slowed things down a little bit. One of them is over crisis intervention programs, something we agree is very important. I believe that we ought to put every state in a position of seeking and receiving funds for crisis intervention programs that they have in place already, even if they don't have a red flag law.”

“Red flag is what's been discussed and discussed many times. But 19 states have red flag laws. But that means 31 states have other crisis intervention initiatives that are designed to address the same problem, which is people who are a danger to themselves and others because of their mental health. It includes things like assisted outpatient treatment programs, drug courts, mental health courts, and veterans courts.”

“The other issue that we are wrestling with relates to the domestic violence provision and the way nontraditional relationships are handled. We need to define this in a very crystal-clear way. It can't be overly broad or open to interpretation. It needs to be something that can actually be applied because we're talking about very serious consequences here.”

“Of course, with both of these provisions, we must include rigorous due process protections. That's a red line for folks on my side of the aisle.”

“I know Senator Schumer, the Majority Leader, wants to put this bill on the floor next week, but unless we can resolve these differences over these two provisions and do it soon, hopefully today, then we won't have time to prepare the text so Senators can read the bill for themselves, which we would expect them to do.”

“That's going to require some continued work and good faith negotiations on all sides. The details of these provisions are critical for support from my colleagues on this side of the aisle, and I hope our colleagues across the aisle will understand if we continue down this path without resolution that we're jeopardizing the timetable that the Majority Leader has set out for us, or we're jeopardizing the likelihood we can get to 60 votes for anything.”

“We know how hard this is. I'm eager to wrap up our negotiations, but we're not going to cut corners or capitulate for the sole purpose of passing something. I'm not willing to compromise on some of my basic principles or throw the Constitution out the window so we can have something we can hold up and say, ‘Look what we did.’”

“There's a bipartisan appetite to get this done. That's good, and I'm optimistic about how far we've come. But we're not there yet, and we need to continue and do so quickly to reach an agreement on language so we can then write the text and have the vote.”