Schumer pledges Senate vote on domestic terrorism bill

Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) speaks to a reporter before the weekly Senate Democratic policy luncheon on Wednesday, May 18, 2022.
Greg Nash
Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) speaks to a reporter before the weekly Senate Democratic policy luncheon on Wednesday, May 18, 2022.

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) told Senate Democrats at lunch Wednesday that he will schedule a vote next week on legislation to prevent domestic terrorism, a measure the House is expected to pass this week in response to the mass shooting in Buffalo.  

He said Congress needs to send a strong message to people who may be provoked by so-called replacement theory and other bigoted theories to commit acts of violence.  

“I announced to our caucus at lunch that we are going to file cloture on the domestic terrorism bill next week. And we hope our Republican colleagues will understand how important this is given what’s going on in the country with replacement theory, with so much bigoted, bigoted voices on all of our news media, and we hope they’ll join us,” he said.  

“But we will have a vote next week on cloture next week on this bill,” he added.  

Filing cloture on a vote means to end debate on a measure, and 60 votes are required to do so to break a filibuster.

Schumer has put new scrutiny on Fox News host Tucker Carlson in the wake of the Buffalo shooting for promoting a conspiracy theory that white people are being intentionally replaced in the United States to reduce their numbers and voting power.

“You can find replacement theory on cable networks like Fox News, where Tucker Carlson has used white replacement rhetoric on at least 400 episodes of his show,” he said on the floor Tuesday.  

The New York Times ran an analysis of Carlson’s show that found he had mentioned the theory on 400 shows since 2016. Schumer has repeatedly highlighted the figure this week.

The House is expected to vote Wednesday on a bill that would authorize offices within the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice and the FBI to monitor, analyze, investigate and prosecute domestic terrorism.  

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) on Wednesday invited Republican colleagues to support the legislation.  

“It’s time to get this bill to the president’s desk and signed into law. We have widespread support from the civil rights community,” he said. “We’ve worked with our colleagues in the House to work out objections related to ACLU issues,” referring to the American Civil Liberties Union. 

“Today I’ll be reintroducing an updated version of the bill to match the text the House will consider this evening,” he said after the weekly Democratic lunch meeting.  

Tags Buffalo shootings Charles Schumer Charles Schumer Dick Durbin Dick Durbin domestic terrorism Tucker Carlson Tucker Carlson
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