Washington, D.C. –Today, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (NY-10) joined Rep. Brad Schneider (IL-10) and Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) in announcing the introduction of the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act (DTPA) of 2021.In the House, the bill was introduced as H.R. 350. The legislation, which was passed by the House Judiciary Committee last Congress, strengthens the federal government’s efforts to prevent, report on, respond to, and investigate acts of domestic terrorism. House original cosponsors include Reps. Lou Correa (CA-46), Robin Kelly (IL-02), Rep. Vicente González (TX-15), Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01),Rep. Don Bacon (NE-01), and Fred Upton (MI-06). Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) is leading introduction of the bill in the Senate.
Chairman Nadler issued the following statement in support of the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act of 2021:
“I commend Congressman Brad Schneider and Senator Dick Durbin for introducing the ‘Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act,’ and I am proud to be an original cosponsor of this bill, which we need now more than ever. Two weeks ago, our nation and the world watched aghast as domestic terrorists, incited by President Trump, breached the Capitol, looted, and murdered a Capitol Police officer. As Congress moves to hold the President accountable, we must now also take immediate legislative steps to address the rising menace of white supremacy and extremist violence.
“It is painfully clear that the current approach to addressing the threat posed by white nationalism and similar ideologies is not working. Nearly two years ago, the Judiciary Committee held a hearing that highlighted the shortcomings in the way this issue has been addressed by the Department of Justice in recent years. While FBI Director Christopher Wray has repeatedly testified before Congress and stated elsewhere that white supremacy is the most lethal terrorist threat facing our country, our federal response has been severely lacking. Extremist violence continues to rise, with federal recourses too often misdirected.
“That is why this bill is so critically needed right now. The Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act requires the FBI to focus its resources on the greatest domestic terrorist threats—which is now white supremacy. The bill takes a ‘whole of government’ approach by establishing Domestic Terrorism Executive Committee, which must meet at least four times per year to coordinate with United States Attorneys and other public safety officials to promote information sharing and ensure an effective, responsive, and organized joint effort to combat domestic terrorism. This bill strongly responds to the grave challenge posed by terrorism motivated by white supremacy.
“We must not allow hate crimes and domestic terrorism to continue unchecked. That is why we reintroduce this critical bill that the House passed last year but which was ignored by Mitch McConnell’s Senate. I look forward to working with my colleagues to advance this important and timely bill as quickly as possible.”
“Following the terrifying attack on the Capitol this month, which left five dead and many injured, the entire nation has been seized by the potential threat of more terrorist attacks in Washington and around the country. Unlike after 9/11, the threat that reared its ugly head on January 6th is from domestic terror groups and extremists, often racially-motivated violent individuals. America must be vigilant to combat those radicalized to violence, and the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act gives our government the tools to identify, monitor and thwart their illegal activities. Combatting the threat of domestic terrorism and white supremacy is not a Democratic or Republican issue, not left versus right or urban versus rural. Domestic Terrorism is an American issue, a serious threat the we can and must address together,” said Rep. Brad Schneider (IL-10).
“Walking through the Capitol today, you can still see the marks of the devastating attack on our democracy that occurred on January 6th. Representative Schneider and I first introduced the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act in 2017 to combat the threat of violent white supremacists and other domestic terrorists, and today we are urging our colleagues to join us in passing this critical piece of legislation. After the attack on our Capitol, I hope that Congress can finally come together and do something to address domestic terrorism in America as quickly as possible,” said Senator Durbin (D-IL).
The DTPA would authorize three offices, one each within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Department of Justice (DOJ), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), to monitor, investigate, and prosecute cases of domestic terrorism. The bill also requires these offices to provide Congress with joint biannual reports assessing the state of domestic terrorism threats, with a specific focus on white supremacists. Based on the data collected, DTPA requires these offices to focus their resources on the most significant threats.
DTPA also codifies the Domestic Terrorism Executive Committee, which would coordinate with United States Attorneys and other public safety officials to promote information sharing and ensure an effective, responsive, and organized joint effort to combat domestic terrorism. The legislation requires DOJ, FBI, and DHS to provide training and resources to assist state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies in understanding, detecting, deterring, and investigating acts of domestic terrorism and white supremacy. Finally, DTPA directs DHS, DOJ, FBI, and the Department of Defense to establish an interagency task force to combat white supremacist infiltration of the uniformed services and federal law enforcement.
The legislation is nearly identical to the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act of 2020, which was endorsed by a broad coalition, including the Anti-Defamation League, Arab American Institute, Bend the Arc: Jewish Action, Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism, Human Rights Campaign, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, Muslim Advocates, NAACP, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., Sikh Coalition, Southern Poverty Law Center Action Fund, and Unidos.
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