Blue Dogs Back Bipartisan Push for Domestic Terrorism Commission

March 29, 2021 by TWN Staff
BACK ROW (LEFT TO RIGHT): Rep. David Scott (GA-13), Rep. Ed Case (HI-01), Rep. Xochitl Torres Small (NM-02), Rep. Josh Gottheimer (NJ-05), Rep. Max Rose (NY-11), Rep. Charlie Crist (FL-13), Rep. Jim Costa (CA-16), Rep. Mikie Sherril (NJ-11), Rep. Ben McAdams (UT-04), and Rep. Sanford Bishop (GA-02). FRONT ROW (LEFT TO RIGHT): Rep. Henry Cuellar (TX-28), Rep. Dan Lipinski (IL-03), Blue Dog Co-Chair Kurt Schrader (OR-05), Blue Dog Co-Chair for Communications Lou Correa (CA-46), Blue Dog Co-Chair for Administration Stephanie Murphy (FL-07), Blue Dog Co-Chair for Policy Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01), Blue Dog Co-Chair for Whip Anthony Brindisi (NY-22), Rep. Kendra Horn (OK-05), Rep. Abigail Spanberger (VA-07), and Rep. Joe Cunningham (SC-01). NOT PICTURED: Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05), Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15), Rep. Collin Peterson (MN-07), Rep. Brad Schneider (IL-10), and Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-05)

WASHINGTON – The Blue Dog Coalition of House Democrats have endorsed the Commission on Domestic Terrorism Act of 2021, which would create an independent, bipartisan commission to investigate the federal government’s failure to more broadly respond to the threat of domestic terrorism over the past two decades.

The bill, which was introduced by Reps. Mikie Sherrill, D-N.J., Jackie Speier, D-Calif., Tom Reed, R-N.Y., and Andrew Garbarino, R-N.Y., calls for a panel modeled after the 9/11 Commission.

Once formed, its work would complement other congressional investigations into the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

By broadening the investigation beyond the events of Jan. 6, the commission will be able to conduct a more robust investigation and provide better-informed recommendations to ensure the government is fully equipped to counter and prevent acts of domestic terrorism, the coalition says.

The Blue Dog Coalition’s endorsement follows Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’ comments to NBC’s Meet the Press stating that domestic violent extremism poses the greatest terrorist-related threat to the homeland.

“The bipartisan Commission on Domestic Terrorism we’ve proposed is an attempt to get to the heart of the January 6 attack on the Capitol and the larger crisis of domestic extremism that’s currently afflicting our country,” said Rep. Sherrill, who is a member of the coalition.

“We need a 9/11-style commission to determine what led to this tragedy, address the underlying causes of extremism, and heal as a nation,” she continued. “Only then can we fully address the rampant violence that domestic extremists inflicted on the Capitol and routinely inflict on our fellow Americans. I am thrilled to have the endorsement of the Blue Dogs Coalition in this effort. We need members, of all political stripes and caucus affiliations, working together if we’re going to successfully confront this crisis.”

“Congress must take on the threat of domestic terrorism with a sense of urgency,” Rep. Tom O’Halleran, D-Ariz., the Blue Dog Coalition’s co-chair for Communications. 

“In addition to investigating the January 6 attack in a bipartisan manner, Congress must also fully investigate the broader domestic terrorism threat to produce the information we need to better protect the American people. The Commission on Domestic Terrorism Act is a commonsense, bipartisan solution that will help us fully address the threat posed by violent extremist groups,” he said.

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