Iowa Senator Tom Harkin spoke today on the floor of the U.S. Senate in support of the gun control bill being considered. Harkin, a Democrat, also introduced his Mental Health Awareness and Improvement Act as an amendment to the gun bill.

“Which puts an important part in this bill dealing with mental health services, both in schools to children, and out of schools,” Harkin said. Harkin said last week he was introducting the bill in the wake of the mental health issues raised by the Newtown school shootings.

He said today it will help provide important services to help indentify children with mental illness and get them treatment

“I think it’s just again a very important part of again what we ought to be doing to reduce violence and to respond to the mental health care needs of our young people,” Harkin said.

Harkin says the mental health bill he introduced today as an amendment to the gun bill already passed the Senate Health Education, Labor and Pension Comittee he chairs with bipartisian support. The Senate is expected to vote on the gun bill today.

Iowa’s other Senator, Republican Chuck Grassley, said this week he could not support the bill because of the requirement that all guns be registered.