Anti-white supremacist legislation introduced in Congress
WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) and U.S. Reps. Brad Schneider (D-Deerfield) and Robin Kelly (D-Matteson) filed a bill to address threats from white supremacist and far right organizations on Thursday.
Called the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act, it was co-sponsored by U.S. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D-Texas). According to a press release from Schneider’s office, the bill would enhance the federal government’s efforts to prevent domestic terrorism by requiring federal law enforcement agencies to regularly assess this threat and provide training and resources to assist state, local, and tribal law enforcement in addressing it.
“From a Sikh Temple in Wisconsin to a church in South Carolina to a synagogue in Pennsylvania, we have too many tragic examples of the dangers of domestic terrorism, and the recent tragedy in New Zealand shows the vile ideology of hate is growing beyond our borders as well,” Schneider said in the release. “This legislation is a necessary first step to help our law enforcement contain the threat.”
The bill authorizes Justice Department (DOJ), DHS, and FBI offices that are responsible for monitoring, analyzing, investigating, and prosecuting domestic terrorism. The bill also requires these offices to issue joint annual reports to the House and Senate Judiciary, Homeland Security, and Intelligence Committees that assess the domestic terrorism threat posed by white supremacists; analyze domestic terrorism incidents that occurred in the previous year; and provide transparency through a public quantitative analysis of domestic terrorism-related assessments, investigations, incidents, arrests, indictments, prosecutions, convictions, and weapons recoveries.
“White supremacists and other individuals with extremist ideologies continue to threaten public safety and the lives of American families. Tragically, this Administration has done nothing but embolden white supremacists and their disgusting ilk. With the President saying ‘there are good people on both sides’ and doing nothing else, Congress must act to combat the real and growing terror threat to American lives,” said Kelly.