The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a sweeping new bill to expand the federal government’s ability to spy on Americans in the alleged effort to combat “domestic terrorism.”
H.R. 350, or the “Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act,” was passed in a 222-203 vote almost entirely along party lines, with all House Democrats and just one House Republican, Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, voting to approve the measure.
The Hill reported the legislative proposal would create “domestic terrorism offices within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Department of Justice (DOJ) and FBI that would be tasked with monitoring and scrutinizing potential terror activity,” specifically emphasizing terror activity motivated by “white supremacist” or “neo-Nazi” sentiments.
Democrats have largely promoted the bill as a response to the horrific mass shooting perpetrated by an avowed “white supremacist” gunman (who also claimed to be in the “mild-moderate-authoritarian Left category”) at a Buffalo, New York, grocery store last week.
However, Republicans have blasted the measure for giving the federal government far too much police power.
According to Texas Republican Rep. Chip Roy, the bill constitutes the “empowerment of the federal bureaucracy to target Americans.”
“This is nothing more than empowering the federal government to police thought and speech in the United States of America, and we should oppose it roundly,” he added.