House passes amendment to monitor white supremacists in the military — with no Republican votes

House passes amendment to monitor white supremacists in the military — with no Republican votes

On Wednesday, July 13, the U.S. House of Representatives voted on and approved an amendment to a defense spending bill that called for government officials to prepare a report on examples of white supremacist and neo-Nazi activity in the U.S. military and federal law enforcement. The measure passed 218-208 and came down along party lines; all 218 of the House members who voted “yea” were Democrats, while all 208 “nays” were Republicans — a fact that Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. was quick to draw attention to.

The New Jersey Democrat, in a tweet posted that Wednesday night, wrote, “We just voted to combat neo nazis in our military and every single republican voted no.”

The amendment was sponsored by Rep. Brad Schneider of Illinois, a Democrat, and was part of the House version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The House is expected to pass the full NDAA, which will then go to the U.S. Senate for consideration.

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Schneider’s amendment not only calls for the director of the FBI, the secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the secretary of the U.S. Defense Department to publish a report detailing examples of White supremacist and neo-Nazi activity in the U.S. Armed Forces and in federal law enforcement agencies, but also, make some recommendations on ways to combat the problem.

Schneider, speaking on the House floor on July 13, warned that the U.S., in recent years, has been suffering an increase in domestic terrorism — and he specifically mentioned the Unite the Right rally in August 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia (where activist Heather Heyer was murdered) and the massacre at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh in 2018.

The Illinois congressman warned, “Such behavior, such extremism is a threat to us in all segments of society. There is no reason to believe that our military is any different. These are exceptions; they are rare. But we must do everything we can to identify them and to thwart them before risks become a reality.”

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