Warner & Kaine Statement on Republican Obstruction of Bill to Address Domestic Terrorism, Hate Crimes
Legislation comes in the wake of the racially motivated shooting of 10 Black Americans in Buffalo, shooting of 19 children and two school teachers in Uvalde
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine released the following statement after their Republican colleagues blocked the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act from receiving a final Senate vote:
“Everyone deserves to go to work or the store without worrying about being a victim of domestic terrorism. Yet in the last two weeks alone, 10 Black Americans died in a racist shooting in Buffalo. Nothing about addressing extremist violence, hate crimes, and domestic terrorism should be partisan, and it’s deeply disappointing that not a single Republican in the Senate stood with us today to even open debate on legislation to help make our communities safer. The American people deserve action and we’re going to keep working to deliver it.”
According to a March 2021 report by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the two most lethal threats among domestic violent extremists are racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists (RMVEs) and militia violent extremists (MVEs). RMVEs are most likely to conduct mass-casualty attacks against civilians, such as the deadly shooting at a Tops Friendly Markets in Buffalo earlier this month.
Had Republicans not blocked the bill from reaching a final vote—where it would have been expected to pass and proceed to President Biden’s desk for signature—the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act would have established new requirements to expand the availability of information on domestic terrorism, as well as the relationship between domestic terrorism and hate crimes.
The legislation would also have authorized components within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Department of Justice (DOJ), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to monitor, analyze, investigate, and prosecute domestic terrorism. DHS, DOJ, and the FBI would have also been required to review their anti-terrorism training programs and make training on prosecuting domestic terrorism available to its prosecutors.
In addition, the bill would have created an interagency task force to analyze and combat white supremacist and neo-Nazi infiltration of the uniformed services and federal law enforcement agencies, and directed the FBI to assign a special agent or hate crimes liaison to each of its field offices.
Full text of the legislation is available here.