Late Wednesday night, the House passed the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act after a push from Democrats seeking to curb extreme domestic terrorism after the Buffalo shooting, the Associated Press reports. The bill went through with a 222-203 vote, almost along party lines—the only Republican who voted yes was Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill).
Under current law, the three federal agencies already work to investigate, prevent and prosecute acts of domestic terrorism. The bill’s supporters state the Prevention Act will fill the gaps in intelligence-sharing among the Justice Department, Department of Homeland Security, and the FBI to respond to the threat of white extremist terrorism.
Agencies would be required to produce a joint report every six months that assesses and quantifies domestic terrorism threats nationally, including threats posed by white supremacists and neo-Nazi groups.
“We in Congress can’t stop the likes of (Fox News host) Tucker Carlson from spewing hateful, dangerous replacement theory ideology across the airwaves. Congress hasn’t been able to ban the sale of assault weapons. The Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act is what Congress can do this week to try to prevent future Buffalo shootings,” Rep. Brad Schneider, D-Ill., who first introduced the measure in 2017, said on the House floor.
The Congressional Budget Office estimates the bill would cost about $105 million over five years, with most of the money going toward hiring staff.
“As we took 9/11 seriously, we need to take this seriously. This is a domestic form of the same terrorism that killed the innocent people of New York City and now this assault in Buffalo and many other places,” said Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., who is sponsoring an identical bill in the Senate.
Senate Democrats hope to bring the bill up for a vote next week, but resistance from Republicans makes it more than likely that it will hit a stalemate. GOP representatives allege the bill doesn’t emphasize combatting domestic terrorism committed by groups on the far left.