WASHINGTON — The Senate passed by unanimous consent today a resolution condemning white supremacist groups and calling on President Trump “to use all available resources to address the threats posed by those group.”
The resolution introduced last week by Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) had 54 co-sponsors, including 45 Democrats, seven Republicans and two independents. The original co-sponsors were Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.).
Companion legislation was introduced in the House by Reps. Tom Garrett (R-Va.) and Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) and referred to the Judiciary Committee. Its co-sponsors are all the Virginia delegation. After the House takes up the bill, and it passes, it would go to President Trump’s desk for his signature.
The Senate resolution condemns “the violence and domestic terrorist attack that took place during events between August 11 and August 12, 2017, in Charlottesville, Virginia, recognizing the first responders who lost their lives while monitoring the events, offering deepest condolences to the families and friends of those individuals who were killed and deepest sympathies and support to those individuals who were injured by the violence, expressing support for the Charlottesville community, rejecting White nationalists White supremacists, the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis, and other hate groups, and urging the President and the President’s Cabinet to use all available resources to address the threats posed by those groups.”
In addition to noting the deaths of Heather Heyer, Lt. H. Jay Cullen and Trooper Pilot Berke M.M. Bates, the resolution recognizes “several other individuals who were injured in separate attacks while standing up to hate and intolerance.”
Senators express “support for the Charlottesville community as the community heals following this demonstration of violent bigotry” and reject “White nationalism, White supremacy, and neo-Nazism as hateful expressions of intolerance that are contradictory to the values that define the people of the United States.”
The resolution urges Trump and his administration to “speak out against hate groups that espouse racism, extremism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, and White supremacy.” It calls on Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the Department of Homeland Security to “investigate thoroughly all acts of violence, intimidation, and domestic terrorism by White supremacists, White nationalists, neo-Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan, and associated groups in order to determine if any criminal laws have been violated and to prevent those groups from fomenting and facilitating additional violence.”
It also calls on other agencies, including at the state and local levels, to fully collect and report hate crimes statistics.
“I hope my colleagues in the House will act on this resolution quickly & send it to POTUS for his signature,” Warner tweeted this evening. “We can’t hesitate or equivocate in condemning white nationalists, the KKK, neo-Nazis, or others who would spread hate & bigotry.”