Published: Wed, September 13, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Congress Backs Measure Condemning White Nationalists

Congress Backs Measure Condemning White Nationalists

After the violent white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia last month, many Republican lawmakers condemned white supremacists and neo-Nazi groups, but they stopped short of criticizing President Trump by name when he failed to do the same.

The legislation, which passed by unanimous consent in the Senate on Monday and in the House on Tuesday, will be presented to Trump for his signature in an effort by lawmakers to secure a more forceful denunciation of racist extremism from the president.

The White House has yet to comment on the resolution. It also urges Attorney General Jeff Sessions to investigate acts of violence and intimidation by white nationalists, neo-Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan and similar groups.

Lawmakers from Virginia said Congress spoke with "a unified voice" to unequivocally condemn the unrest, in which a counterdemonstrator was killed when a vehicle driven by a suspected white supremacist plowed into a crowd after a rally called by far-right extremists turned violent.

He initially responded to the incident by saying there were "two sides to a story" and that there were "some very fine people" on both sides.

It is beyond pathetic and disgraceful that this President needs a bipartisan resolution to force him to condemn neo-Nazis and white supremacists.

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".

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Pyongyang appears unbowed, threatening that America would pay a "price" for spearheading the measures against it. She reiterated that, according to the resolution , an extremely strict sanctions regime had been introduced.

The resolution adopted in the US Congress has been passed to Trump, who then has to decide whether to sign it or not.

The Congressional resolution calls Heyer's death a "domestic terrorist attack".

A auto driven by a White Supremacist ran over Heather Heyer during the counter-protest rally, which led to her death.

It also calls on the justice department and other federal agencies to "use all resources available" to improve data collection on hate crimes and "address the growing prevalence of those hate groups in the United States".

"I hope this bipartisan action will help heal the wounds left in the aftermath of this tragedy and send a clear message to those that seek to divide our country that there is no place for hate and violence", House Democrat Gerry Connelly said.

The authors of the resolution, however, purposefully submitted it as a "joint-resolution", which is required to be signed by Trump. But as we learned last month, the president's immediate and unequivocal condemnation of racist groups is no longer a given.

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