The Republican opposition in the Senate on Thursday blocked a law to fight domestic terrorism, ten days after a racist massacre and while America mourns the children killed in a school in Texas, two massacres which have brought to light the paralysis of Congress.
The Democratic majority expected this failure but had organized a procedural vote to highlight the opposition of the right and hang it up in the broader debate on violence by firearms. “This text is so important because the Buffalo shooting was an act of domestic terrorism.“Said the leader of the Democratic majority in the Senate, Chuck Schumer, before the vote.
The law provided for the creation, within the United States Federal Police (FBI), as well as the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security, of units dedicated to the fight against domestic terrorism, with a particular emphasis on white supremacism. . It would also have allowed the creation of a working group to “combat the infiltration of white supremacy among uniformed personnel and federal law enforcement“.
“harden» school safety
Chuck Schumer had asked the Republicans to vote for the opening of debates on the text, offering them in exchange to include measures for “harden» school safety after the Texas shooting. If the shooting that killed nineteen children and two teachers in Uvalde (Texas) had a priori no racist motivation, unlike that which cost the lives of ten African-Americans in Buffalo (State of New York) the May 14, the succession of these two massacres relaunched the discussion in the United States on access to arms.
Despite the support of three moderate Republicans, the vote on the law against domestic terrorism did not pass the qualified majority threshold of 60 votes which applies to almost all texts submitted to the Senate. The upper house of the American Congress is divided between 50 Republican votes and 50 Democratic votes – to which is added the Democratic Vice-President Kamala Harris.
This deadlock does not bode well for other ongoing discussions on a law proposed by the Democrats, this time specifically intended to strengthen the regulation of firearms and which will also be subject to this qualified majority.