Blue Dogs Back Bipartisan Legislation to Establish a Commission to Address Domestic Terrorism

Mar 26, 2021
Press Release
Commission’s work would complement other congressional investigations focused on the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol
WASHINGTON—Today, the Blue Dog Coalition, which focuses on issues related to national security, announced its endorsement of the bipartisan Commission on Domestic Terrorism Act of 2021, which would create an independent, bipartisan commission and be modeled after the 9/11 Commission to investigate the federal government’s failure to more broadly respond to the threat of domestic terrorism over the past two decades. The Commission’s work would complement other congressional investigations into the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. The bill was introduced in the House of Representatives by Reps. Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11), Jackie Speier (CA-14), Tom Reed (NY-23), and Andrew Garbarino (NY-02).
 
By broadening the investigation beyond the January 6 attack, 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 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 6th attack on the Capitol and the larger crisis of domestic extremism that’s currently afflicting our country,” said Rep. Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11), a member of the Blue Dog Coalition who introduced the Commission on Domestic Terrorism Act. “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. 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,” said Rep. Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01), 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.”
 
ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND:
 
The Blue Dogs have continuously called on Congress to address the threat posed by white supremacist organizations and other violent domestic extremist groups since the 2017 attack in Charlottesville, Virginia. Following the January 6 insurrection, Rep. Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01), the Blue Dog Coalition’s Co-Chair for Communications, called the attack an act of domestic terrorism.
 
In February, the Blue Dogs endorsed two bills to help combat the threat of domestic terrorism and protect our nation’s classified information from those who participated in the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol and members of the QAnon conspiracy movement. The Coalition endorsed the bipartisan Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act of 2021, which would enhance the federal government’s efforts to prevent domestic terrorism by requiring federal law enforcement agencies to regularly assess this threat and provide training and resources to assist state, local, and tribal law enforcement in addressing it. The Coalition has advocated for this legislation since it was first introduced in 2018. The Blue Dogs also endorsed the Security Clearance Improvement Act of 2021, which would disqualify participants in the violent assault on the United States Capitol and members of the QAnon conspiracy movement from obtaining or maintaining a federal security clearance.
 
###