Senate Republicans are set to vote against a House-passed bill that would authorize special offices within the government to investigate and monitor domestic terrorism. This is being requested in the wake of a racist shooting in Buffalo that left 10 people dead.
The GOP compares the proposal, which sets up offices in the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice and the FBI to target domestic terrorism, to the recently paused disinformation board set up by the Biden administration.
“It sounds terrible,” said Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) of the House-passed bill, predicting it won’t get 10 Republicans in the Senate. “It’s like the disinformation board on steroids. Another way to look at is the Patriot Act for American citizens,” he added, referring to the law passed immediately after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks that expanded the government’s power to monitor phone and email conversations and collect bank records.
“I’m completely opposed to this idea that we would be giving the federal government and federal law enforcement power and authority to surveil Americans, to engage in any kind of monitoring of speech that is directed toward censorship. I think it’s extremely frightening and I can’t believe they haven’t learned their lesson from the disinformation board debacle,” Hawley went onto say.
Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) says he will bring the bill to the floor this week as a response to the killings at a Buffalo supermarket in a predominantly Black neighborhood. The bill passed the House 222-203 on a mostly party-line vote, with Rep. Adam Kinzinger (IL) casting the only GOP vote in favor.
The Biden administration attracted controversy last month when it announced the creation of the Disinformation Governance Board “to coordinate countering misinformation related to homeland security.” The backlash continued to increase, and the Homeland Security Department put the project on pause after three weeks and its executive director, Nina Jankowicz, resigned.
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