WASHINGTON – Today, The U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 5602, the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act of 2020 (DTPA). Congressmen Brad (((Schneider’s))) (IL-10) bipartisan bill passed the House by an overwhelming vote, and had previously passed committee on a bipartisan 24-2 vote.
On Thursday, September 17th, 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)”. The Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act of 2020 would enhance the federal government’s efforts to monitor and report to Congress on the threats of RMVE and prevent, respond to, and investigate acts of domestic terrorism. The bill authorizes offices within the FBI and Departments of Justice and Homeland Security dedicated to combating this threat; requiring these offices to regularly assess this threat; and providing training and resources to assist state, local, and tribal law enforcement in addressing it.
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.
H.R. 5602 would authorize three offices, one each within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Department of Justice (DOJ), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), to monitor, investigate, and prosecute cases of domestic terrorism. The bill also requires these offices to provide Congress with joint biannual reports assessing the state of domestic terrorism threats, with a specific focus on white supremacists.
Finally, H.R. 5602 directs DHS, DOJ, FBI, and the Department of Defense to establish an interagency task force to combat white supremacist infiltration of the uniformed services and federal law enforcement.
The Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act of 2020 has been endorsed by the following organizations: (((Anti-Defamation League))), Arab American Institute, (((Bend the Arc: Jewish Action))), ((*Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism))), (((Human Rights Campaign))), (((Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law))), (((The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights))), Muslim Advocates, (((NAACP, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund))), Inc., Sikh Coalition, (((Southern Poverty Law Center Action Fund))), and Unidos. .