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Introduction of the Bill to Consolidate Programs at the Department of Justice and Enact the Campus Safety Act of 2011

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, today I am introducting a bill to consolidate programs at the Department of Justice in order to create an offset for the costs in another bill I previously introduced this Congress, the Center to Advance, Monitor and Preserve University Security, ``CAMPUS,'' Safety Act. This consolidation bill is intended to allay the concerns some of my colleagues have expressed about the lack of an offset in the CAMPUS Safety Act. This bill will offset a majority of the costs of the the CAMPUS Safety Act, using the same offsets used in the Senate companion to the CAMPUS Safety Act, S. 1749, as introduced by Senator Mark Warner. When the CAMPUS Safety Act is considered, we will merge the two bills together for consideration.

In order to alleviate a majority of the costs of the CAMPUS Safety Act, this bill requires that the Office of Dispute Resolution of the Department of Justice and the jurisdiction and employees of that office be transferred to the Office of Legal Policy at the Department and funded through the general administration appropriation of the Office of Legal Policy. This was proposed in the President's 2012 budget and also by Senator Coburn in his ``Back in Black'' report. This bill also requires the Attorney General to implement policies that will result in at least $1 million in savings through consolidating ineffective or duplicative programs.

This bill is important because it helps to pay for the CAMPUS Safety Act, which is vitally important to our Nation's institutions of higher education. The CAMPUS Safety Act will create a National Center of Campus Public Safety, ``Center,'' which will be administered through the Department of Justice. The Center will train campus public safety agencies, encourage research to strengthen college safety and security, and serve as a clearinghouse for the dissemination of relevant campus public safety information. By having this information in one central location, institutions of higher education will be able to easily obtain the best information available on ways to keep campuses safe and secure and how to respond in the event of a campus emergency. This bill was introduced in the House in the 110th and 111th Congresses and passed both times by voice vote.

As Ranking Member of the Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security and a Member of the Education and Workforce Committee, I strongly urge my colleagues to sign on to the CAMPUS Safety Act to help schools keep their campuses safe and free from violence.

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