Scalise: We Ought to Ask Those Tough Questions and Hold People Accountable

WASHINGTON, D.C.—At the House Republican Leadership stakeout today, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) discussed his meeting with students from Marjory Stoneman High School and shared his hope that the students will recover and heal together after the shooting. He stressed that we must hold those responsible for the systematic breakdowns in this case accountable. Additionally, he addressed his efforts to whip votes on the Goodlatte-McCaul immigration reform bill and the positive effects businesses in Louisiana have been feeling from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act


Click here or on the image above to watch his remarks.

Click here or on the image above to watch Whip Scalise’s response to the systematic failures seen in Parkland.


On his meeting with students from Majory Stoneman Douglas High School:

“Yesterday I had the opportunity to meet with a number of the Parkland students. And we had a really, really productive conversation about a lot of things. Of course, there was some talk about policy, there was talk about breakdowns at various levels of government that failed those kids. But then we ultimately talked about our shared experience.

“And just know that tomorrow, Parkland, the school reopens and those kids are going to be going back to school. They’re going to be high school students again. And, you know, while they got an opportunity to participate in the legislative process and come up here and get a real kind of experience of democracy and civics, they’re going to be going back to school tomorrow.

“And I know there’s a lot of trepidation as they go back, so keep them in your prayers. Because it’s going to be difficult times, I’m sure, as they reopen that school and, you know, think through and maybe relive some of those experiences that are going to be out there. And just like we’ve been working through our different processes up here, they’re going to be doing that back home. So keep them in your thoughts and prayers as they continue to meet with our colleagues up here.”

On the Goodlatte-McCaul immigration reform bill:

“We are continuing to work on the Goodlatte-McCaul bill. If you know, back two weeks ago, we whipped that bill so we got a good starting point of where we are and what we need to do to come together as a conference to meet those principles that President Trump laid out. And that is to secure the border, to start building the wall, to end chain migration and the visa lottery, and ultimately to fix the DACA problem that was left on our doorstep when Barack Obama created a program that had no resolution, but ultimately had to be solved by somebody else, and now is that time to solve that problem. And we’re working very hard to get that consensus.”

On the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act’s positive effects in Louisiana:

“I also met with a maritime advisory group. This is a group I meet with every year. And for the last eight years, the topic of conversation mostly revolved around regulations that made it harder for them to create jobs, made it harder for them to grow their business and compete. And we meet right by the port of New Orleans, one of the most active ports in the nation. For eight years, the biggest problem they faced were regulations that made no sense that just made it harder for them to compete and to hire more people.

“The great thing about this last meeting is that they were actually talking about the opportunities they’re going to have to grow now because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The fact that they’re now more competitive and that they’re going to be able to give more back to their workers—something we’re seeing all across the country. It was really exciting to hear from a lot of small-owned, family-owned businesses that are now thriving because we got government out of the way and actually gave them more of their money back so that they can help increase the pay of their workers and increase the quality of life for their workers, too.”

On systematic breakdowns in the Parkland shooting:

“As people are contemplating new laws, I think the most important thing we can look at is what about all the laws that are already on the books that were not enforced, that were not properly implemented. I think what angers me the most is when I see breakdowns with law enforcement. The FBI had this guy’s name on a silver platter. Not just innuendo and there were a lot of students in that school who said, ‘We think he will be a school shooter.’ He, himself, said he wanted to be a professional school shooter and it was posted under his name and ultimately turned over to the FBI. Somewhere along the way in the FBI’s chain of command, they let it go. I think we ought to ask those tough questions and hold people accountable. There are really good people at the FBI but clearly there are people at the FBI that chose to let this go. I think we ought to know about this. At the end of the day, when you look at local law enforcement–and the sheriff has been very outspoken in a lot of ways–but I think what angered me the most is that there was a sheriff’s deputy trained and armed at the school, assigned to protect the school and he hid out instead of protecting those students and confronting the shooter. I wouldn’t be here right now if it wasn’t for law enforcement confronting the shooter in my case. It is really disappointing that, ultimately, somebody didn’t go into that school that was there and armed to protect those kids.”