Durbin Attempts To Pass House-Passed Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act On Senate Floor

Senator Ron Johnson Objected On Behalf Of Senate Republicans

WASHINGTON – Following President Donald Trump’s refusal to condemn white supremacists during the course of Tuesday night’s Presidential debate, U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today made a unanimous consent (UC) request to immediately pass the House-passed Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act of 2020.  Last week, on a unanimous vote, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the House companion to Durbin’s Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act of 2020.  The bill would enhance the federal government’s efforts to prevent domestic terrorism by requiring federal law enforcement agencies to regularly assess this threat, focus their resources on the most significant domestic terrorism threats, and provide training and resources to assist state, local, and tribal law enforcement in addressing these threats.

U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) objected on behalf of Senate Republicans.

“The President couldn’t find an answer two days ago.  Today, we get a Republican objection to continue in a bipartisan basis, as they did in the House, to address this issue.  It is a sad moment.  I do believe the Senator from Wisconsin and many others when they say that they are against extremists.  They had a chance to prove it.  They objected,” Durbin said.  

Along with Durbin, Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Doug Jones (D-AL), and Cory Booker (D-NJ) also spoke on the Senate floor in support of passing the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act of 2020.

Video of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here.

Audio of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here.

Footage of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here for TV Stations.

Since May 2019, Durbin has led two letters to Attorney General Bill Barr and FBI Director Chris Wray, asking them to support the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act and asking what the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the FBI are doing to combat the growing threat of white supremacist violence targeting religious minorities and communities of color.  In January, Durbin again pressed DOJ and FBI to take the initiative in leading a coordinated nationwide effort by federal, state, and local law enforcement and intelligence agencies to disrupt and prevent these violent domestic terrorism and hate crime incidents before they take place.

On September 17, FBI Director Christopher Wray testified to Congress that “the top threat we face from domestic violent extremists stems from those we identify as racially/ethnically motivated violent extremists (RMVE)” and that most of these are white supremacists.

Last year, a Trump Administration Department of Justice official wrote in a New York Times op-ed that “white supremacy and far-right extremism are among the greatest domestic-security threats facing the United States. Regrettably, over the past 25 years, law enforcement, at both the Federal and State levels, has been slow to respond.”