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Senate Republicans block domestic terrorism prevention bill in key vote


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By Clare Foran and Ted Barrett, CNN

Senate Republicans on Thursday blocked a bill designed to combat domestic terrorism from advancing in a key vote. The vote comes as lawmakers are under intense pressure to take action in the wake of multiple recent episodes of horrific gun violence.

The final tally of the vote was 47-47. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer changed his vote from an “aye” to a “no” at the end in a procedural move to be able to bring the bill back up again in the future if he wants.

The bill passed the Democratic-controlled House last week following a tragic mass shooting at a supermarket in a predominately Black neighborhood in Buffalo, New York. But Republicans have pushed back against the measure put forward by Democrats, describing it as partisan and unnecessary.

At least 10 Senate Republicans would have needed to vote with Democrats to overcome the 60-vote threshold imposed by the filibuster.

The failure of the domestic terrorism bill in the Senate underscores yet again how challenging it is for lawmakers to enact any kind of major policy change in the wake of mass shootings amid a highly polarized political environment and widespread GOP opposition to stricter gun controls.

Only one Republican — Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois — voted for the measure when the Democrat-led House approved it after the Buffalo supermarket shooting. The Justice Department is investigating that shooting as a hate crime and “an act of racially-motivated violent extremism.”

The nation was rocked by another devastating mass shooting on Tuesday when an 18-year-old gunman killed 19 children and two adults at a Texas elementary school before he was killed by law enforcement officers, officials said.

The elementary school shooting has sparked impassioned calls from Democrats for legislation to counter gun violence and renewed a debate over gun control on Capitol Hill, but it appears highly unlikely that the long-lasting and deeply entrenched partisan stalemate over gun control will be broken.

The Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act of 2022 would set up offices specifically focused on domestic terrorism at the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice and the FBI.

The offices would track and analyze domestic terrorist activity with the goal of better preparing the federal government to identify risks in order to take preventative action.

The bill creates a requirement for biannual reporting on domestic terrorism threats. It also calls for assessments of the threat posed specifically by White supremacists and neo-Nazis.

Senate Republican Whip John Thune, who represents South Dakota, said Wednesday it is “unlikely” that 10 Republicans would vote to advance the House-passed domestic terrorism bill because, he said, the White House and Department of Justice have indicated they already have the authorities legislated in the bill.

“It’s a lot of stuff they already have authority to do,” Thune said, providing the first formal confirmation from a GOP leader that the bill, which is a top priority for Democrats, won’t pass the Senate.

Ahead of the vote Thursday morning, Schumer called for the Senate to take up the House-passed bill, but acknowledged it was unlikely to advance amid GOP opposition.

“Today the Senate will have a chance to act on a pernicious issue that has recently become an increasingly prevalent component in America’s gun violence epidemic — the evil spread of white supremacy and domestic terrorism,” he said.

But Schumer added, “I know the chances of getting 10 votes on this bill are small unfortunately given the influence of MAGA Republicans.” He went on to say, “there are a lot of MAGA Republicans for whom no amount of gun violence — whether it’s domestic terrorism, a school shooting, a neighborhood shooting or something else, will ever, ever convince them to take any action.”

Schumer indicated Democrats are willing to give some time and space for efforts to reach some kind of bipartisan compromise on gun legislation though he noted the odds are long. He also made clear that these efforts will not be given an unlimited amount of time to play out, and that if they fail the Senate will move forward with votes on gun safety legislation.

“We have to try everything. We must not leave a single stone unturned,” he said.

But he added, “this is not an invite to negotiate indefinitely. Make no mistake about it, if these negotiations do not bear fruit in a short period of time, the Senate will vote on gun safety legislation,” he said.

Senate Democrats took steps on Tuesday night to place two House-passed background checks bills onto the legislative calendar so they can be voted on. It’s unclear, however, when the Senate might vote on the measures and they would not be expected to overcome a GOP filibuster.

GOP Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky criticized the domestic terrorism bill in a floor speech Thursday ahead of the vote.

“Today we will have a bill before us ostensibly titled and ostensibly about the subject of domestic terrorism. But this bill would be more accurately called the Democrat plan to brand and insult our police and soldiers as White supremacists and neo-Nazis — how insulting,” he said.

The-CNN-Wire
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CNN’s Ted Barrett, Manu Raju, Ali Zaslav and Eric Levenson contributed.

CNN

Comments

28 Comments

    1. It’s hard to say why 47 voted nay. The article is full of political pontificating with only 3 sentences devoted to the content of the bill.

    2. Because domestic terrorist’s (ie: Proud Boys) are the republican voting base. They wouldn’t alienate their own. Stand back and stand by!

    3. It’s not hard to figure out Republican’s reason.

      They don’t want to alienate their base by holding them accountable for their increasing domestic terrorism.

    4. @ Prolifelatterdaysaint “I’m sure their was a.good reason republicans voted against it”

      Of course there was.

      “It also calls for assessments of the threat posed specifically by White supremacists and neo-Nazis.”

      It would have greatly endangered much if the republican constituency.

      1. As if it matters which day it was blocked… Where was the KTVZ reporting on that one, Barney? Bias much?

        Rand Paul said, of the domestic terrorism bill:
        “It would be the Democrat plan to name our police as white supremacists and neo-Nazis. I met policemen throughout Kentucky and I’ve not met one policeman motivated or consumed with any kind of racial rage,”

        “What an insult it is to put a bill before the House and say our Marines are consumed with white supremacy and neo-Nazism,” he added.

            1. Top Stories area rarely has same story for more than 24 hours, that I guarantee. Of course Texas shooting, several stories have been up there, not the same one. We change them up all the time, but yes our reporter stories might be up there for 24 hours or so.

          1. How is it false if its true ? The new media standard I guess. KTVZ has abundant time to bash one party on a constant basis but we’ll never bash the other party at all. Ummm, ok. Sounds unbiased to me.

          2. Come on, Barney… An accusation of bias can’t be false just because it can be blamed on the automated feed from CNN. It only gives Central Oregonians national and world news that is heavily slanted to the left, regardless of the reason… to the point that stories that show democrats in a bad light simply go unreported, and stories that show republicans in a bad light are front page news (this situation is a perfect example). I know it’s not your fault, but you are “the guy”. I’m sure that nothing can be done about it, but it is annoying and unfortunate. Of course, if you were a Fox affiliate it would just be equal and opposite.

            I appreciate the job you guys do on local news though!

            1. Thanks. I believe most of the national news on our site is not “heavily slanted to the left.” The specifics usually can be disputed, instead the broad-brush attacks continue.
              I doubt any source that doesn’t lean your way will ever be satisfactory to you.

              1. I’m not after a specific slant. Something in the middle would be nice. Better yet, just the facts. All of the facts, not just the ones that lean your way. It doesn’t exist though… they are all loaded in one direction or the other.

                This site is good for folks who want to know what to look for: https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/left/cnn-bias/

                I did CNN but all of them are on the site.

                I like https://www.allsides.com/unbiased-balanced-news

    1. Exactly what I was thinking. Funny how CNN thus KTVZ never had an article that I could find on that block by the dems. 1 sided reporting? Why would 1 block warrant an article and not the other? I guess you decide on that one…

  1. Another “local” news story? I love how the article omits why this bill was blocked. How anybody could be so ignorant as to believe this trash is beyond me. How embarrassing for the democrats!

  2. Listen to the podcast “Will be Wild”

    I dare any trumper to listen to it and not come away realizing what an Evil and Corrupt dictator he is.

    Explains why trump’s DHS didn’t issue a single warning about January 6th riot where trumpers attacked police and gave them heart attacks with tasers and severe head injuries, etc. DHS’s ONLY JOB is to prevent Terrorism, including Domestic. They failed utterly, and by design.

  3. Interesting this story only mentions the race in the first shooting but not the second. Maybe there is an agenda involved. As for the “will be wild” podcast, not going to listen to a hack job with a biased agenda. I do not listen to Fox or CNN either. Agendas and biased.

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