Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27) released the following statement after voting against H.R. 350, the Domestic Terror Prevention Act.
“The racist massacre that occurred in Buffalo this past weekend was horrifying and has shocked our community to its core. Simply put there is no place for such hatred in our country, and we must condemn hatred and racism in the strongest possible terms. However, tragedy is not a reason to pass a flawed policy. Unfortunately, what occurs too often in Washington is bad laws and problematic policies are given a good name to ease their passage and stifle reasonable debate. This legislation falls into that category.
“The Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security, and Federal Bureau of Investigation already have offices set up to monitor, investigate, and neutralize all threats of terrorism, including threats of domestic terrorism. Instead of approving additional resources for these existing offices to further aid in threat prevention, this legislation would divert resources to three new duplicative offices in DHS, DOJ, and FBI that have an initial focus on examining threats of domestic terrorism that occurred in the past, as opposed to focusing on current and future threats. Not only does this legislation spread critical resources thin, but it hampers the work DOJ, FBI, and DHS are already doing to address acts of terrorism. Furthermore, these new offices would be given broad jurisdiction that in the wrong hands could be used to investigate political enemies and infringe on the civil liberties and constitutional rights of Americans.
“We as a nation and a Congress have a duty to ensure the safety of every American – that is done through better supporting our existing agencies and programs, funding law enforcement, and supporting our communities. Hasty and reactionary policy without proper thought and debate is not the answer. We as a Congress must work better to develop actual, tangible solutions to the problems facing Americans.