WASHINGTON – Prompted by the violence and domestic terrorist attack in Charlottesville, Va., on August 11 and 12, 2017, the U.S. Senate yesterday, Sept. 11, unanimously approved a bipartisan resolution introduced by U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Johnny Isakson (R-GA) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) condemning white nationalists, white supremacists, the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis and other hate groups. The joint resolution (S. J. Res. 49) also calls upon the Trump Administration to use all available resources to improve data collection on hate crimes and to work in a coordinated way to address the growing prevalence of hate groups.
A companion version with identical language was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives last week by Reps. Tom Garrett (R-VA-5) and Gerald Connolly (D-VA-11) with support from the entire Virginia House delegation.
The joint resolution recognizes the death of Heather Heyer, 32, and the injuries suffered by many others after a car allegedly driven by a neo-Nazi slammed into a crowd of counter-demonstrators in Charlottesville. The resolution specifically describes that event as a “domestic terrorist attack.” The resolution also acknowledges the heroism and public service of Virginia State Police troopers Berke Bates and Lt. Jay Cullen, who died in the crash of their helicopter while monitoring the protests. Finally, the resolution expresses support for the people of Charlottesville as that community heals “following these acts of violent bigotry.”
The Senate resolution, which gained notable bipartisan support, including from Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Judiciary Committee Chair Chuck Grassley (R-IA), also has the support of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the Anti-Defamation League and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. If the House of Representatives adopts it as well, the joint resolution will be sent to President Trump for his signature.
The text of the resolution is available here.