US Senate fails to pass bill aimed at domestic terrorism prevention
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US Senate fails to pass bill aimed at domestic terrorism prevention

The US Senate Thursday failed to pass the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act of 2021 (HR 350) after receiving a vote of 47 to 47. The bill is meant to address mass shootings in the US and would have established “new requirements to expand the availability of information on domestic terrorism, as well as the relationship between domestic terrorism and hate crimes.”

HR 350 would also create an interagency task force between agencies like the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation “to monitor, analyze, investigate, and prosecute domestic terrorism.”According to the bill’s supporters, the interagency task force would combat white supremacist and neo-Nazi “infiltration” of law enforcement. The legislation also would direct the FBI to assign agents in each field office “to investigate hate crimes incidents with a nexus to domestic terrorism.” 

Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) asked for bipartisan support, saying, “[t]he bill is so important because the mass shooting in Buffalo was an act of domestic terrorism. We need to call it what it is, domestic terrorism. It was terrorism that fed off the poison of conspiracy theories like white replacement theory.” 46 Republicans voted against the bill, and four abstained from voting. Schumer changed his vote to a “no” to reserve the right to bring the bill back for another vote in the future.

The US House of Representatives passed the bill earlier this month.