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August 15, 2017

Democrats Call for Domestic Terrorism Hearings

(WASHINGTON) – Today, the twelve Democratic members of the House Committee on Homeland Security, led by Ranking Member Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), sent the below letter to Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX) and the Republican members of the Committee to urge the Committee hold hearings on domestic terrorism.

In March and June of this year, Ranking Member Thompson wrote to Chairman McCaul requesting the Committee on Homeland Security address the ongoing threat of domestic terrorism through our oversight and legislative activities during the 115th Congress. Now, as our country has suffered yet another tragic and deadly domestic terrorist attack, we as Democratic Members of the Committee write to you, our Republican colleagues, to urge you to join with us to hold hearings to examine the troubling rise in domestic terrorism in our Nation.

This weekend, the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia attracted hundreds of self-identified white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and other members of alt-right groups. This rally was founded and fueled by hate. Despicable violence towards counter-protesters caused the death of a Charlottesville-area woman, Heather Heyer, and injuries to more than 20 others. This heinous, cowardly act was terrorism, plain and simple. Terrorism is not confined to a single ideology or inspiration.

Unfortunately, it has become clear we cannot count on President Trump for action. Even before he was elected, many of us were concerned that his unwillingness to denounce and distance himself from white nationalists would be taken as tacit support by those ready to use violence to advance their racist ideology. As leaders of the legislative branch of government, we must stand up to all ideologically-motivated violence. Failure to act as innocent people continue to be terrorized, harmed, and killed by domestic terrorists puts American lives in peril.

It is past time for this Committee on Homeland Security to act. As Democratic Members, we stand ready to work in bipartisan manner to help stop acts of domestic terror and uphold the ideals that truly make America great. We look forward to a hearing on this critical issue when we return in September.

Link to Letter

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Media contact: Adam Comis at (202) 225-9978