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May 19, 2022

Rep. Aguilar Supports Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act

Speaks out against deadly conspiracy theory motivating Buffalo shooter

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Rep. Pete Aguilar today voted for the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act (H.R. 350), which establishes three new offices within the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice to combat domestic terrorism. The legislation comes on the heels of racially motivated shootings this past weekend in Buffalo, New York and Laguna Woods, California.

“Domestic terrorism, white supremacy and right-wing extremist violence are on the rise and this legislation takes bold steps to combat these significant threats and empower law enforcement,” Rep. Aguilar said. “Americans overwhelmingly reject the hatred and bigotry that motivates these violent attacks. We are a nation that respects the rule of law, recognizes that diversity is our strength and believes that truth matters.”

The Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act authorizes the creation of three offices, one each within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), to investigate and prosecute cases of domestic terrorism. This bill also requires an FBI agent to be posted to each field office to investigate hate crimes related to domestic terrorism and requires regular reports to Congress on the state of domestic threats, focusing specifically on white supremacy.

Rep. Aguilar has been deeply involved in issues related to domestic terrorism since the shooting in San Bernardino in December 2015. Earlier this year, Rep. Aguilar’s Reporting Efficiently to Proper Officials in Response to Terrorism (REPORT) Act, legislation aimed at ensuring lawmakers and law enforcement agencies are better prepared to prevent, detect and respond to future incidents of domestic terrorism, passed the House of Representatives unanimously. The REPORT Act requires the Secretary of Homeland Security to collaborate with the FBI, Office of the US Attorney General and National Counterterrorism Center to submit a report to Congress in the wake of domestic terror incidents and recommend actions to prevent future terror incidents.

Also this week, Rep. Aguilar spoke out against the debunked conspiracy theory known as the “Great Replacement Theory,” which, according to media reports, motivated the shooter in Buffalo and has been linked to multiple domestic terrorist attacks in the United States. In recent years, this theory has moved from the fringes to the mainstream of the Republican Party and Rep. Aguilar called out Republican leaders for their failure to condemn this hateful rhetoric.

“We’re unified in our grief this week as we mourn the lives lost in Buffalo, New York. We now know that the shooter was motivated by the disgusting and debunked conspiracy theory known as ‘the great replacement,’” Rep. Aguilar said. “This broken ideology is animating today’s Republican Party. What once would have been disqualifying is now a mainstream point of view. In fact, it’s a prerequisite, in many ways, to hold Republican leadership. After a pandemic that laid bare the stark inequities of this country and after four years of a president embodying our worst instincts and degrading our institutions, our country, in many ways, is a tinderbox and House Republicans are holding the match.”

You can watch Rep. Aguilar’s full remarks here.

Rep. Aguilar serves as Vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus and as a member of the House Committee on Appropriations, the Committee on House Administration and the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the US Capitol.