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June 16, 2016

Republican Bill Just an Empty Gesture After Orlando

(WASHINGTON) – Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the below statement after speaking on the House floor on H.R. 5471 – the Republican response to the Orlando mass shooting.  The legislation combines and repackages three homeland security bills that the House has already passed.  Since these bills are already pending in the Senate, repassing these bills has no effect. 

“There is one thing we do know beyond the shadow of a doubt: divisive rhetoric that pits Americans against each other and empty gestures will do nothing to heal Orlando’s deep wounds or prevent the next attack.  Unfortunately, railing against the American Muslim community is all that some, including the presumptive Republican nominee, are offering.”

“Meanwhile, empty gestures, like yet-another ‘moment of silence’ and expedited House consideration of repackaged measures that are already pending in the Senate is as far as the House Republican Leadership is willing to go.”

“Although there is little to object to in H.R. 5471, particularly since it largely codifies what the Department of Homeland Security is already doing, it is important to state - on the record - that it offers nothing new to respond to the Orlando attack.”

“Tomorrow marks the one-year anniversary of the terrorist attack on Mother Emmanuel in Charleston, South Carolina.  Nothing in the legislation we are considering today would have stopped that ideologically-motivated mass shooting either.”

“Sadly, when it comes to preventing mass shootings in houses of worship, schools, workplaces, and other public spaces, the American public has come to expect very little from this Congress.  Our constituents deserve better.”

Read Congressman Thompson’s Full Floor Statement

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