In a televised proceeding, House Republicans — one of the members of their caucus — just voted against a bill that would track white supremacist and neo-Nazi activity in the military and our nation’s police.
The bill in question is an amendment to the Defense Authorization Act that compels government officials to report on efforts to investigate extremism inside the ranks of the FBI, Department of Homeland Security, and Secretary of Defense twice a year.
The “Schneider Amendment” will require federal agencies to expunge white supremacists and Nazis from service, according to Newsweek:
“The ‘Schneider Amendment’ called for the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Secretary of Defense to publish a report that sets out ways to combat white supremacist and neo-Nazi activity in the uniformed services and law enforcement agencies ‘not later than 180 days after enactment and every 6 months thereafter.'”
How urgent is it to root out soldiers with affinity to violent racist extremist groups? After Trump’s January 6th insurrection, the National Guard was called up to protect the Capitol. No less than 12 members of the National Guard had to be removed from their posts securing the upcoming inauguration because of ties to right-wing extremist groups.
But not one of the House Republicans voted in favor of it. Why?
We just voted to combat neo nazis in our military and every single republican voted no. pic.twitter.com/lUF1NRGiXg
— Bill Pascrell, Jr. 🇺🇸🇺🇦 (@BillPascrell) July 14, 2022
After the anti-Semitic Unite the Right rally in 2017 – where the White supremacist Patriot Front members led chants of “Jews will not replace us” and counter-protester Heather Heyer was killed – there has been an uptick in domestic terrorist activity, says Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL) who sponsored the measure:
“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. There are exceptions, they are rare, but we must do everything we can to identify them and to thwart them before risks become a reality.”
According to alleged insurrectionist Congressman Andy Biggs (R-AZ), the amendment is creating “a problem where none exists.” It’s a sentiment common among Republicans.
The over 80 insurrectionists charged in connection with the attack beg to differ. Though most were veterans, at least one was on active duty, and four more served part-time in the National Guard or Army Reserve, per CBS.
As far back as 2006, an FBI assessment on the infiltration of law enforcement agencies by White supremacists was released by the House Oversight and Reform Committee’s Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Subcommittee chairman, Jamie Raskin. It said:
“White supremacist leaders and groups have historically shown an interest in infiltrating law enforcement communities or recruiting law enforcement personnel.”
The FBI’s concern is well rooted in facts. For example, the story of a former police officer with possible ties to the KKK who was “charged with civil rights violations involving alleged death threats made against black schoolchildren and a black city council member,” according to The Intercept:
“Since 2000, law enforcement officials with alleged connections to white supremacist groups have been exposed in more than a dozen states, while hundreds of federal, state, and local law enforcement officials have been caught expressing racist, nativist, and sexist views on social media.”
The amendment sponsored by Rep. Schneider passed on a party line vote of 218-208.
The fact that every one of the House Republicans voted “no” is a shame that Americans must be made aware of.
Follow Ty Ross on Twitter @cooltxchick.