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The US House of Representatives passed a bill Wednesday aimed at targeting domestic terrorism after the mass shooting in Buffalo carried out by a white supremacist last Saturday.
House lawmakers on Wednesday passed the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act of 2022 in a vote of 222-203. The legislation, which still needs to go through the Senate, would establish domestic terrorism units within the Department of Homeland Security, FBI, and Justice Department.
The bill would also create an interagency task force to analyze and combat white supremacist infiltration of the military and federal law enforcement.
Republicans expressed their concerns about the legislation's ability to target individuals for beliefs that may not be connected to domestic terrorism at all. The lawmakers expressed concerns about the bill's focus on white supremacist domestic terrorism, citing recent crimes and attacks involving left-wing and Black perpetrators.
Since 9/11 the US has built up a massive security State that's attacked entire communities, social movements + organizations - our real defense against the far-Right + white supremacy. Giving the State more power just puts us more in danger. https://t.co/n0zVhn5QTm
The Biden administration on Thursday issued a statement in support of the legislation's passage and other efforts to counter domestic terrorism in the U.S.. The administration said it looks forward to working with Congress to implement the legislation.
The bill comes following a mass shooting allegedly perpetrated by 18-year old Payton Gendron, who is believed to have also written a manifesto describing white supremacist beliefs as motivation for going on a rampage in a Buffalo supermarket, killing ten people.
The FBI qualified the shooting as a racially motivated hate crime and U.S. President Joe Biden referred to the incident as domestic terrorism.