Republicans call Democrat House bill about domestic terrorist task force  a ‘weaponization’ of the government

by mcardinal

Savannah Hulsey Pointer, FISM News 


In a move some Republicans are calling a push to “weaponize” the government, Democrats passed a Domestic Terrorism Bill, largely along party lines, according to MSN.

Only one Republican joined the support for H.R. 350, which was pushed through the House in the wake of the Buffalo, New York shooting that ended in the deaths of 10 victims. 

The bill creates special offices within the Department of Homeland Security, the Justice Department, as well as the Federal Bureau of Investigation to monitor, analyze and investigate domestic terrorism.  

In addition to their investigatory capacity, the special groups would be required to offer a biannual report on domestic terrorism nationwide, outlining the most significant threats, and to create an interagency task force to combat White supremacists and neo-Nazi membership amongst uniformed services and federal law enforcement.

Eighteen-year-old Payton Gendron has been charged with shooting 13 people, 11 of whom were black, in a shooting at a Buffalo supermarket earlier in the week in what is being labeled as a “racially motivated” hate crime at this time. 

CNN reported that the measure is sponsored by Democratic Rep. Brad Schneider of Illinois, who called on the House to swiftly take up the bill.

“The rise of racially motivated violent extremism is a serious threat to Americans across the country,” he said in a statement. “The Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act is what Congress can do this week to try to prevent future Buffalo shootings — to prevent future California shootings, future El Paso shootings, future Charleston shootings, future Pittsburgh shootings, future Wisconsin shootings. We need to ensure that federal law enforcement has the resources they need to best preemptively identify and thwart extremist violence wherever the threat appears.”

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), however, called on his Republican colleagues to vote against the legislation, saying it was a Democratic measure being used to weaponize the government against American citizens: 

“Now, what happened in Buffalo was as wrong as wrong could be, but this legislation wouldn’t prevent the terrible crime that took place there,” he said according to MSN. The lawmaker went on to call out the bill’s use of the term “white supremacy,” saying that the bill “says nothing about threats from the left.” 

Schnider pushed back, saying that the bill isn’t giving new enforcement powers and includes first amendment protections. “To my colleagues considering voting against this bill … I ask them: If not this bill, then what? And if not now, then when,” he said. “Their inaction only gives cover to the next domestic terrorist planning an attack.”

“The threat is real. It is growing. And if we don’t act, more people — people praying in their houses of worship, children playing in their school yards, police officers servicing in our communities — will die,” he said.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla) also spoke up against the bill, saying that it isn’t about domestic extremism as much as it is a bill created by Democrats to deploy criminal and anti-terrorism authorities against “bad politics.”

“This bill is about whether you want the Department of Homeland Security looking over your shoulder at the shows you watch, the websites you visit, some politically incorrect meme you liked, some joke you forwarded,” he said. “How long until mainstream Christianity is deemed domestic extremism?”

Senate Majority leader Chuck Schumer of New York said Wednesday that he planned to have his chamber of congress vote on the bill next week in his tweet:

“The House has passed a bill to combat the domestic terrorism and violent extremism like we saw in the heinous attack in Buffalo. Next week, I will bring this legislation up for a vote in the Senate as we continue working to dismantle domestic terrorism.”