House passes bill that requires federal government to act against domestic terrorism


(JTA) — The federal government would be required to take steps to prevent domestic terrorism under a bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives.

The Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act of 2020, which passed Monday by voice vote, would authorize dedicated domestic terrorism offices in the departments of Homeland Security and Justice, as well as the FBI, to analyze and monitor domestic terrorist activity.

Rep. Brad Schneider, D-Ill., sponsored the legislation, which had 179 co-sponsors.

Sen. Dick Durbin, also an Illinois Democrat, has sponsored a similar measure in the Senate.

“Racially/ethnically motivated violent extremists were the primary source of ideologically motivated lethal incidents and violence in 2018 and 2019. From the Tree of Life synagogue to a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, we have all tragically seen the deadly effect,” Schneider said Monday from the House floor. “According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the number of white nationalist groups rose by 55% since 2017. And last November, the FBI reported violent hate crimes reached a 16-year high in 2018. That number went up in 2019.

“Groups like the Boogaloos, Rise Above Movement and White Nationalist militias across the country are organizing. And so must we.”

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