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Defeat of Internal Threats Act

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1 hour ago, Russ said:

 

But, second, does this meet the definition of terrorism?

Mr. Speaker,

According to the Obama Administration? Yes. They officially classified Antifa as domestic terrorists.

I yield. 

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Mr. Speaker,

According to this Forbes article, using data from a variety of sources including federal law enforcement and the RAND Corporation, left-wing terrorism has only been revived recently, with most of its attacks and deaths since 1992 occurring in recent years and eclipsing right wing extremist terrorism deaths in those years. We shouldn’t focus on any one over the other; we need to look at and report on all terrorism. 

I yield. 

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Mr. Speaker,

The fact of the matter is, there are right wing terrorists in this country and this is a problem. This is also a problem that hits very close to home for me. This is because one of the shootings mentioned in this bill in the funds section you want to get rid of, happened in my state at a Planned Parenthood.

These aren’t just statistics, these are people who have been killed. People like Officer Garret Swasey who was killed trying to save lives, Ke'Arre M. Stewart who was killed running into the clinic to warn people of the shooter, and Jennifer Markovsky who was only there because she wanted to accompany a friend. In this shooting 5 other police officers and 4 other civilians were shot. This is radical right wing terrorism. This shooting was for a political purpose.

The gentlewoman from New York can try to play this whataboutism card and pull attacks from all the way back in 1970, with only 4 attacks in the past 20 years, this bill cites 8, in the past 8 years. The numbers do not lie. Right wing terrorism is seen a lot more than left wing. Anyone who can’t see that is either blind or at a point in their lives where they no longer accept facts. 

I yield

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Mr. Speaker,

I believe that what the gentleman from Illinois is doing now is what lawyers call speculation. We have no proof provided by the FBI, yet, that ANTIFA members premeditate their attacks at all. And if they did, they would then meet the definition of a terrorist group, which funnily enough, would then be targeted under this current bill. By contrast, we know full well that the 9/11 attacks were planned well in advance of the date. And we know that Timothy McVeigh planned the Oklahoma City bombings to coincide with the date of the Waco Fire. And we know that Alex Fields planned to run over people at Charlottesville.

Also, did the gentleman from Missouri seriously just bring an opinion piece onto the floor and try and present it as fact? And one by a writer from the CATO Institute too?

I yield.

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Mr. Speaker,

I did. It is a piece about statistics and facts gathered by the author. If the gentleman would have read the piece, he would have realized that. The statistics and numbers do not come from opinion but from other sources. This piece is merely an aggregate of the more important numbers and an explanation. The point is also moot, because the bill itself cites the partisan and heavily-biased Southern Poverty Law Center, so it is rich to lecture me about bringing opinion or unsound statistics or numbers into this. The SPLC itself helped provoke an attack on the Family Research Council, so I once again find it rich to lecture us about violence and murder while the very bill under debate cites the SPLC!

I yield. 

Edited by SWMissourian

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Mr. Speaker,

If I may - in regards to my colleague on the other side of the aisle defending Antifa.

Allow me to quote directly from a Politico article written September 1, of 2017. In it, it reads in the opening paragraph:

“Federal authorities have been warning state and local officials since early 2016 that leftist extremists known as “antifa” had become increasingly confrontational and dangerous, so much so that the Department of Homeland Security formally classified their activities as “domestic terrorist violence,” according to interviews and confidential law enforcement documents obtained by POLITICO.”

Now, Mr. Speaker - it is not mearly opinion that the actions of the antifa extremist are domestic terrorists, the Obama Administration labeled them as such as early as 2016 according to the article.

That is not opinion, that is fact. If my colleague on the other side of the aisle wishes to continue defending this group as he has done on this floor, that’d be ludicrous. If the gentleman wanted to see proof - here it is. If he chooses to simply not believe it, then that’s more ignorance on his part than anything.

I yield the floor.

Edited by Anthony
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3 hours ago, Dogslife said:

 

The gentlewoman from New York can try to play this whataboutism card

Mr. Speaker,

It's not whataboutism. The Gentleman from Texas asked us to cite examples, so I did. Don't make requests you don't want to see fulfilled.

I yield.

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Mr. Speaker,

The gentleman from Missouri is once more mistaken about where the facts and statistics of the Findings are drawn from. He claims that they are from the SPLC when in fact they are overwhelmingly from the FBI's reports on domestic terrorism. But second, the gentleman from Missouri also fails to understand the difference between number of deaths and the number of attacks committed. His "evidence" is correct that militant Islamists are responsible for the most deaths on US soil is correct, but it also notes that about 2900 of 3100 of those deaths happened in one attack. Furthermore, that attack was planned and carried out by non-US citizens for an external group, which again, this bill does not deal with. It may have happened on our soil but it was not planned by a domestic group, meaning it does not meet the definition of domestic terrorism. We have plenty of focus on tracking non-American terrorist groups. I did it for years. But the question is not on terrorism over all. Its about domestic terrorism or terrorist attacks committed by groups within the US. In that category, we've so far seen far more attacks and deaths perpetuated by white supremacist and other right-wing extremist groups. I'd be far more concerned about the side that commits more attacks than the side who's killed more.

The gentleman from California continues to misstate my viewpoints and slander me. When have I so far defended ANTIFA on the floor? I think I have made it perfectly clear that I see them as violent thugs. Where perhaps the gentleman and I disagree is whether they are terrorists also known as disagreeing on what accepted definition of terrorism is.  

I yield.

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Mr. Speaker,

The good gentlemen misunderstands my argument. I never argued over the number of attacks or anything like that, and you won’t find me arguing that in connection with the source I used. I used the source to argue that recent leftist extremist attacks have risen and eclipsed right-wing terrorist deaths in recent years. I never said anything about Islamic terrorism, as that is largely not relevant in regards to this bill. 

I also know that most of the data in the bill is from the FBI, but it does still include a finding sourced from the SPLC, which I take issue with. 

I yield. 

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1 hour ago, Russ said:

The gentleman from California continues to misstate my viewpoints and slander me. When have I so far defended ANTIFA on the floor? I think I have made it perfectly clear that I see them as violent thugs. Where perhaps the gentleman and I disagree is whether they are terrorists also known as disagreeing on what accepted definition of terrorism is.  

I yield.

Mr. Speaker,

Homeland Security calls antifa domestic terrorists. And my colleague says they are not. He isn’t disagreeing with me on this, he is disagreeing with Homeland security. So he’s saying his definition of a domestic terrorist is somehow better than that of homeland security? Mr. Speaker I’m not sure where the gentleman gets off on thinking he can just say a group that is defined as terrorists not terrorists.

Furthermore, he says he isn’t “defending them”. Yet - homeland security says they are terrorists. He says they are not. That’s called defending them, plain and simple. My colleague needs to start using common sense on both fronts, because this kind of ignorance is not fair for his constituents he is supposed to represent.

 

I yield.

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4 hours ago, Anthony said:

Mr. Speaker,

Homeland Security calls antifa domestic terrorists. And my colleague says they are not. He isn’t disagreeing with me on this, he is disagreeing with Homeland security. So he’s saying his definition of a domestic terrorist is somehow better than that of homeland security? Mr. Speaker I’m not sure where the gentleman gets off on thinking he can just say a group that is defined as terrorists not terrorists.

Furthermore, he says he isn’t “defending them”. Yet - homeland security says they are terrorists. He says they are not. That’s called defending them, plain and simple. My colleague needs to start using common sense on both fronts, because this kind of ignorance is not fair for his constituents he is supposed to represent.

 

I yield.

Mr. Speaker,

I challenge the gentleman to point to a specific example of my exact words defending ANTIFA. And no, me saying that they do not meet the standard definition of terrorism does not count. 

The gentleman would have us believe that this bill somehow is biased against the Right-wing based on the three or four mentions of the right-wing in the Findings section, when I will note that there are far more mentions of white supremacists. Now, he would have everyone believe I am defending ANTIFA based on my statement that they do not meet the traditional definition of terrorism. So, utilizing his logic from earlier, if he seeks to delete all of the Findings section, it is an implicit statement that he is defending white supremacists. Now, I'm not saying the gentleman or any of my other colleagues are white supremacists. Such an accusation would not only be wrong, it would be inappropriate. But they sure seem to do a lot of time defending white supremacists and violent ones at that from any attempt to bring them to justice, just as they seem to defend the open presence of groups who express a wish to overthrow the government. I do not call on them to defend their actions, but I will point out to them how the American people will see them. As an entire political party opening shirking their duty to defend our country against all threats, whether they are foreign or domestic. The American people will ask why they refuse to confront the issue of domestic terrorism. They will see the identities of these groups, note what causes they are associated with, and ask why the Republican Party is willing to condone violence and terrorism when its used to advance goals and causes often associated with them. That is not a threat, that is a promise. The American people will not forgive the party that refused to do its duty against the worst domestic terror threat in the modern age.

But I won't make that decision for them. I am here to fight terrorism, not to play partisan politics here. If this bill must pass along partisan lines, then so be it. I will take full comfort in the knowledge that I have done my duty.

 

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1 hour ago, Russ said:

Mr. Speaker,

I challenge the gentleman to point to a specific example of my exact words defending ANTIFA. And no, me saying that they do not meet the standard definition of terrorism does not count. 

The gentleman would have us believe that this bill somehow is biased against the Right-wing based on the three or four mentions of the right-wing in the Findings section, when I will note that there are far more mentions of white supremacists. Now, he would have everyone believe I am defending ANTIFA based on my statement that they do not meet the traditional definition of terrorism. So, utilizing his logic from earlier, if he seeks to delete all of the Findings section, it is an implicit statement that he is defending white supremacists. Now, I'm not saying the gentleman or any of my other colleagues are white supremacists. Such an accusation would not only be wrong, it would be inappropriate. But they sure seem to do a lot of time defending white supremacists and violent ones at that from any attempt to bring them to justice, just as they seem to defend the open presence of groups who express a wish to overthrow the government. I do not call on them to defend their actions, but I will point out to them how the American people will see them. As an entire political party opening shirking their duty to defend our country against all threats, whether they are foreign or domestic. The American people will ask why they refuse to confront the issue of domestic terrorism. They will see the identities of these groups, note what causes they are associated with, and ask why the Republican Party is willing to condone violence and terrorism when its used to advance goals and causes often associated with them. That is not a threat, that is a promise. The American people will not forgive the party that refused to do its duty against the worst domestic terror threat in the modern age.

But I won't make that decision for them. I am here to fight terrorism, not to play partisan politics here. If this bill must pass along partisan lines, then so be it. I will take full comfort in the knowledge that I have done my duty.

 

Mr. Speaker,

I would just like to point out very simply for the chamber, that saying antifa is not domestic terrorism when homeland security says they are is in fact defending them. That ain’t opinion, that’s fact. And it’s a very simple fact at that. Anybody who can’t see that lacks every possible shread of common sense.

 

I yield the floor.

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Mr. Speaker, 

With all due respect if the true goal of this bill is to save lives then why is it so hard to accept left wing extremism is also a problem to be addressed? Amend this bill to address that problem and we can all agree. This bill is nothing more than a weapon for virtue-signaling. Republicans, as previously stated, will happily support any bill that addresses domestic terrorism, but we would need to amended the current proposition or introduce a new one. This is a bi-partisan issue. We all want to stop terrorists, no one here wants terrorism. But I will absolutely not lend myself to support a bill that 1. Does not fully address the problem of domestic terrorism. 2. Creates hatred toward conservative thinkers by signaling out right extremism. Which is not condoned by any means. And 3. Is being used to virtue signal. 

I yield. 

Edited by Anthony Fernandez
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2 hours ago, TexAgRepublican said:

Mr. Speaker,

That's because the goal wasn't to save lives. The goal was to make a political statement.

I yield. 

Mr. Speaker,

If this bill is a political statement, as the gentlewoman from New York claims, is she saying that white supremacists and extreme far-right terrorists are a part of her side? Important enough to defend perhaps?

That's sure how it sounds to me.

I yield.

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23 minutes ago, Russ said:

Mr. Speaker,

If this bill is a political statement, as the gentlewoman from New York claims, is she saying that white supremacists and extreme far-right terrorists are a part of her side? Important enough to defend perhaps?

That's sure how it sounds to me.

I yield.

Mr. Speaker,

This bill quite clearly does not condemn left wing violence. No one is defending extremists and it would be silly to imply that.

I yield.

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Mr. Speaker, 

I still fail to see why the gentleman from Texas is straying from the proposed question. If this bill is meant to save lives, why can you not accept to address left-wing terrorism? The Republicans are trying to pass this bill to save lives, it is you who is preventing the passage by trying to virtue-single. 

I yield. 

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31 minutes ago, Nubbie said:

Mr. Speaker,

This bill quite clearly does not condemn left wing violence. No one is defending extremists and it would be silly to imply that.

I yield.

Mr. Speaker,

The gentlewoman from Tennessee is mistaken on the point of this bill. Its focus is terrorism, not violence. 

I yield.

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    Aye    Nay    Abstain
Republicans    34    135    34
Democrats    231    0    0
Total    265    135    34

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