Senator Patty Murray met with Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Tuesday to discuss her role as head of President Trump’s new commission on school safety.
Murray was less than impressed with the meeting the day before children across the country are expected to walk out of their classrooms to protest gun violence in schools and to honor the 17 victims of the deadly Parkland, Florida shooting.
Read Murray’s full statement:
“I appreciated that Secretary DeVos came to meet with me, but I was extremely disappointed at how the meeting went. I was hoping that Secretary DeVos would be able to talk to me about real and meaningful steps she could move quickly on as head of President Trump’s new gun commission, but everything I heard from her in our conversation suggested that this is just the latest effort to delay and shift the conversation away from the gun safety reforms that people across the country are demanding.
“While Secretary DeVos said she had no interest in meeting with the NRA as a part of this process, she couldn’t or wouldn’t tell me how the NRA would be allowed to influence the commission’s recommendations, or even that they wouldn’t have veto power. She couldn’t tell me how quickly the commission would move, or give me any kind of clear timeline at all. She wouldn’t agree to put survivors of gun violence, families of victims, or experts on preventing gun violence on the commission—in fact, she told me that the only people on the commission would be federal officials. And she pushed back and asked for continued delay when I suggested that we start by quickly addressing the most common sense gun safety policies supported by the vast majority of Americans—like universal background checks and raising the age for purchasing assault weapons.
“I am hoping that Secretary DeVos gets a handle on this issue and changes her tune, but based on this meeting today, I have no confidence that this commission will be anything other than a tool for continued distraction and delay.”