The House voted on an amendment requiring updates on purported white supremacy and neo-Nazi sympathies in its version of the annual defense bill Wednesday, according to The Hill.
The amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) directs the FBI, Department of Homeland Security and the Secretary of Defense to publish a biannual report that evaluates “White supremacist and neo-Nazi activity in the uniformed services and Federal law enforcement agencies,” according to the bill summary. It also requires leaders to describe their response to “planned or effectuated incidents” of extremism and report the number of military personnel discharged for neo-Nazi or white supremacist ideology, according to The Hill.
“Such behavior, such extremism is a threat to us in all segments of society. There is no reason to believe that our military is any different,” Democratic Rep. Brad Schneider of Illinois, who sponsored the amendment, said during debate on the House floor, according to The Hill.
“These are exceptions, they are rare, but we must do everything we can to identify them and to thwart them before risks become a reality,” he said, according to The Hill. He referenced the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting in 2018, noting that the U.S. has allegedly seen an uptick in domestic extremism attacks.
🚨#FY23NDAA debate on the House Floor has begun!
As the Vice-Chair of the Military Personnel Subcommittee and the only Member of Congress to represent Ft. Bliss, I’m proud to speak in support of this legislation that will support every person who has worn our country’s uniform. pic.twitter.com/BDIECv67LH
— Rep. Veronica Escobar (@RepEscobar) July 13, 2022
The amendment passed 218-208 down the party line, with Republicans in opposition, The Hill reported.
“This amendment attempts to create a problem where none exists by requesting investigations into law enforcement and the armed services for alleged rampant white supremacists or white national sympathies,” said Republican Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona during the debate, The Hill reported.
The House is expected to finish voting across a slate of amendments this week, according to The Hill. The NDAA will head to the Senate, where the Democrats hold a slim majority, for final approval.
Democratic Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas sponsored another amendment mandating the Secretary of Defense report to Congress on the “the extent, if any, of the threat to national security posed by domestic terrorist groups and organizations motivated by a belief system of white supremacy.”
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin announced a full Department of Defense off period shortly after taking office to discuss the “problem” of extremism in the military. The Biden Pentagon’s focus on white supremacy and similar forms of extremism in the ranks could exacerbate the military’s recruiting crisis, military and social issues expert Elaine Donnelly told the Daily Caller News Foundation in June.
The House Armed Services Committee, Reps. Schneider, Jackson Lee and Biggs and the DOD did not respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.
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