Congressman David N. Cicilline (RI-01), senior member of the House Judiciary Committee, today took to the House floor to urge all his colleagues to join him in supporting the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act and “say no to white supremacy and domestic terrorism in America.” The House will vote on the bipartisan measure later this evening.
A transcript of the Congressman’s remarks is below.
Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act of 2021.
We are at an important crossroads in this country.
With white supremacy on the rise, and violent extremists fueling each other’s bigotry and hate, we’re seeing an alarming increase in domestic terrorism fueled by this hatred.
A recent analysis from the Center for Strategic and International Studies showed that in 2020, domestic terrorism in America was at its highest level since information started being collected nearly 30 years ago.
In 2019, Michael McGarrity, Assistant Director for the Counterterrorism Division of the FBI, stated, and I quote, “racially-motivated violent extremists are responsible for the majority of lethal attacks and fatalities perpetrated by domestic terrorists since 2000.” End quote.
We’re talking about the safety and security of every American – and the targeting of already marginalized groups.
We also witnessed just days ago in Buffalo, when a self-proclaimed white supremacist, fascist, and [antisemite] targeted the Black community, murdering ten victims in a supermarket.
We saw this last year in Atlanta when a gunman attacked Asian women in spas.
And we saw it in the bomb threats at HBCUs and Jewish synagogues, and as terrorists have attacked Black churches, synagogues, and Sikh temples.
We keep seeing it over and over again.
Congress needs to act.
And we can start today by passing the bipartisan Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act. This legislation will create offices at the DOJ, FBI, and DHS to monitor, investigate and prosecute cases of domestic terrorism – a long overdue update to not only help prevent these horrific crimes, but to also bring perpetrators to justice.
This bill would also improve and streamline information sharing and training systems between different law enforcement agencies – including at the local and state level – to better our understanding of and response to incidents of domestic terrorism and white supremacy.
And finally, it would establish an interagency task force to combat white supremacist infiltration of our military and federal law enforcement – a terrifying trend that we need to combat now, before it gets any worse.
I want to thank Representative Schneider for introducing this desperately needed legislation. I’m proud to be an original cosponsor. Thank you to Chairman Nadler for his leadership, and I urge all my colleagues to support this important bill. It should be a strong bipartisan vote to say no to white supremacy and domestic terrorism in America.
And with that, I yield back.
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