WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — After the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, there is a renewed push to pass legislation aimed at cracking down on domestic terrorism.
Democrats are leading the calls and some Republicans are on board, but others are skeptical of the bill, worried about the federal government overstepping its bounds.
“We need to take the risks very seriously,” Rep. Brad Schneider, D-Ill., said. “Jan. 6 gave evidence to the entire nation the risk we face in domestic terrorism.”
“They are as much if not more of a danger to the security of Americans as any foreign terrorist today,” Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., agreed.
They reintroduced the legislation that would require the FBI, Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security to better monitor, investigate and prosecute domestic threats.
“It requires a whole government approach,” Schneider argued.
The bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives with bipartisan support in September, but was stonewalled in the Senate, controlled at the time by Republicans. Some Republican senators still say it is unnecessary.
“I have a sense that the FBI and others regularly monitor those groups like antifa and Proud Boys,” Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., said. “It’s happening no matter what legislation we pass.”
Fellow Republican Rep. Darin LaHood of Illinois fears the bill would be used to unfairly target conservative groups, but Durbin insists that’s not the case.
“Anyone who engages in violence … whatever their political motivation needs to be held accountable,” Durbin said.
The Department of Homeland Security issued a bulletin Wednesday warning of increased threats of domestic terrorism in the weeks ahead.