Senate Republicans block domestic terrorism bill

Senate Republicans on Thursday blocked a bill to create domestic terrorism offices within federal law enforcement agencies in response to a mass shooting in Buffalo, N.Y., that left 10 people dead.  

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) framed the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act as an opportunity to vote on Republican and Democratic amendments to curb gun violence, but his plea for GOP support to begin the debate fell flat with Republican colleagues.  

“The bill is so important because the mass shooting in Buffalo was an act of domestic terrorism. We need to call it what it is, domestic terrorism. It was terrorism that fed off the poison of conspiracy theories like white replacement theory,” Schumer said on the floor before the vote.  

The vote broke down along party lines, 47-47, with not a single Republican voting for the measure.

The legislation would have created an interagency task force within the Justice Department, Department of Homeland Security and the FBI to analyze and combat white supremacist infiltration in the military and federal law enforcement agencies.  

Republican senators argued that new federal laws and offices are not needed to monitor and prosecute domestic terrorism because politically motivated violence is already covered by existing laws.  

They also voiced concerns that the bill could open the door to improper surveillance of political groups and create a double standard for extreme groups on the right and left of the political spectrum.  

The failed Senate vote comes roughly one week after the House passed the legislation largely along partisan lines, 222 to 203. Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) was the only Republican to vote for it.  

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) called the legislation an “insult” to police officers and military servicemembers.  

“It would be the Democrat plan to name our police as white supremacists and neo-Nazis. I met policemen throughout Kentucky and I’ve not met one policeman motivated or consumed with any kind of racial rage,” he said.   

“What an insult it is to put a bill before the House and say our Marines are consumed with white supremacy and neo-Nazism,” he added.  

Tags Adam Kinzinger Charles Schumer Chuck Schumer domestic terrorism Rand Paul Rand Paul

Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

See all Hill.TV See all Video

Most Popular

Load more


See all Video