In reaction to a shooting rampage that took place in Buffalo, New York, on Wednesday, which left ten people dead, Senate Republicans voted on Thursday to defeat a bill.
This bill would have established domestic terrorist bureaus within government law enforcement agencies.
BREAKING: Senate Republicans blocked a domestic terrorism bill that would have opened debate on gun measures after the deadly Texas school shooting. https://t.co/hMdW0iNItZ
— The Associated Press (@AP) May 26, 2022
Indifference From Republicans
Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) structured the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act as a chance to vote on Democratic and Republican legislative changes to curb gun violence.
However, his plea for Republican votes to begin the debate was met with indifference from his Republican colleagues.
“The recent shooting incident in Buffalo was an act of domestic terrorism, which is why this law is of such critical importance.”
“We have no choice but to refer to what is happening as domestic terrorism.” Schumer stated on the floor just before the vote “it was terrorism that thrived off the venom of conspiracy beliefs like the white replacement theory.”
The vote was tied along party lines, with neither a Republican nor a Democrat supporting the measure. The final tally was 47-47.
To investigate and counteract the presence of white supremacists in the armed forces and national law enforcement agencies, the legislation would have established an interagency task force inside the Justice Department, the Department of Homeland Security, and the FBI.
Because existing laws already address politically driven violence, Republican senators contended new federal laws and offices are not necessary to monitor and convict domestic terrorism.
Republicans also highlighted concerns that the law could create a double standard for extremist groups on the right and left of the political landscape, opening the door to improper monitoring of political organizations.
The vote in the Senate was unsuccessful almost one week after the legislation was approved by the House of Representatives, mostly along partisan lines, 222 to 203.
Only one Republican, Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, voted in favor of the measure.
ONE republican senator voted to open debate on a bill to address domestic terrorism, which DHS says is the gravest threat to the United States.
We’re not getting 10 republicans to do anything. Expand the majority, nuke the filibuster.
— Sawyer Hackett (@SawyerHackett) May 26, 2022
Sen. Rand Paul, a Republican from Kentucky, referred to the legislation as an “insult” to members of the armed forces and law enforcement.
“The plan the Democrats have is to label members of our police force as white supremacists and neo-Nazis,” he said.
According to him, “I met policemen throughout the state of Kentucky. I have not met a single policeman that was motivated or driven by any kind of racial fury.”
The Kentucky congressman continued by saying, “What an insult it is to put a bill before the Senate and claim our Marines are obsessed with white supremacy and neo-Nazism.”
“Not only is the legislation absurd, but it will look to target only right-wing extremists and be lenient on radical leftists; it will also warrant unjust surveillance and invasion of privacy.”
“It is wrong and, as such, shouldn’t pass.”