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Rick Scott wants to take $80B from IRS to fund armed officers in schools after Nashville shooting

Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., is urging Congress to reroute the billions of dollars earmarked for the Internal Revenue Service in Democrats’ Inflation Reduction Act into money to hire armed officers for academic campuses across the country, in the wake of a mass shooting at a Nashville elementary school earlier this week. “The tragedy in Nashville made clear that more must be done to keep our schools safe,” Scott said Thursday. “Washington spends money on all sorts of wasteful ideas and the massive expansion of the IRS is a prime example of that.” He was referencing the $80 billion allocated toward the IRS that will be used to hire tens of thousands of employees over a 10-year period. “We need to put the dollars we spend to good use. These funds should absolutely be used instead to provide block grants to states so they can increase school security at every school and keep kids safe,” Scott said. NASHVILLE’S COVENANT SCHOOL REELING FROM ‘TERROR THAT SHATTERED OUR SCHOOL AND CHURCH’ In a statement announcing legislation, Scott referenced his time as governor of Florida, when the state was devastated by a mass shooting at a high school in Parkland that saw 17 students and staff killed. He had signed safety legislation in the shooting’s wake that both tightened gun control measures and expanded access to firearms for teachers and school staff, known as the Guardian Program. “Following the horrific shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, I fought hard as governor to make sure there were more armed officers in our schools. Today, every public school in Florida has an armed police officer, sheriff’s deputy, or an individual who has completed the rigorous training provided through our Guardian Program,” Scott said Thursday. NASHVILLE COVENANT SCHOOL HEAD OF SCHOOL HAILED AS HERO IN WAKE OF SHOOTING: ‘SHE PROTECTED HER CHILDREN’ A 28-year-old former student of The Covenant School, a private Christian school in Tennessee, returned to the campus on March 27 and opened fire, killing three students and three teachers before being shot dead by police. Scott said Thursday that his forthcoming bill aims to extend grant money to private and religious schools, not just institutions that run on federal funds. “I cannot stress enough that this funding should be available to ALL schools. After our Jewish Days Schools in Florida were facing an influx of threats, we also specifically allocated funding to increase security at these schools,” Scott said. “Our religious schools need to be protected and that is why my legislation will make sure it allows all schools to use these dollars.” REX ENGELBERT AND MICHAEL COLLAZO: WHO ARE THE NASHVILLE OFFICERS WHO TOOK DOWN THE COVENANT SCHOOL SHOOTER? Gun control advocates have renewed their calls for reform in the days since the Nashville shooting, but there appears to be little appetite on Capitol Hill for further restrictions. Last year, a bipartisan group of senators passed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, a comprehensive bill that mixed tighter firearm security with increased mental health resources and school safety dollars. Scott was not among the 15 Republican senators who voted for the bill. A portion of the funds were aimed at hiring resource officers for schools, though the legislation did not apply to private schools like The Covenant School, which did not have a designated officer on campus.

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