Democrat’s Blue Dog Coalition Endorses Legislation to Combat Domestic Threats
Razor wire is shown atop a fence outside the Capitol in Washington during the fifth day of former President Donald Trump's impeachment trial on Feb. 13, 2021. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)
The Blue Dog Coalition, a group of moderate Democrats who focus on issues related to national security, endorsed two bills it says will help combat the threat of domestic terrorism and protect our nation’s classified information from those who breached the United States Capitol on Jan. 6.
The group of 18 “fiscally responsible” Democrats say they want to prevent those who participated in the breach of the Capitol and members of the QAnon conspiracy movement to be barred from obtaining a federal security clearance and to bolster the ability of federal law enforcement agencies to investigate and report on domestic terror threats.
The Blue Dogs officially endorse Rep. Brad Schneider’s (D-Ill.) Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act and Rep. Stephanie Murphy’s (D-Fla.) Security Clearance Improvement Act.
Murphy’s bill aims to ban those who took part in breaching the Capitol and those who support QAnon from obtaining or keeping a national security clearance. A prominent aspect of the QAnon theory alleges that global elites are part of a satanic pedophile ring.
Murphy, a former Pentagon official, said she does not want those who breached the Capitol building on Jan. 6 to ever have access to classified information.
“As a former national security specialist at the Pentagon, I know how dangerous it is for individuals who participated in a violent attempt to overthrow our government to receive a security clearance and access classified information,” she said in a statement.
U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL) speaks at a panel discussion on disinformation and the 2020 campaign co-hosted by PEN America; Ellen L. Weintraub, Chair, U.S. Federal Election Commission; and the Global Digital Policy Incubator at Stanford University’s Cyber Policy Center at the FEC in Washington on Sept. 17, 2019. (Paul Morigi/Getty Images for PEN America)
“QAnon has spread far beyond the fringes, and we must now take steps to ensure these dangerous conspiracy theories don’t infiltrate our government. Holding a security clearance is a privilege, not a right,” Murphy added.
Schneider’s bill would strengthen the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, and the FBI’s ability to investigate and report on domestic terror groups and would require the agencies to provide Congress with a biannual threat assessment report, with a focus in particular on white supremacy, which the Illinois Democrat linked to the Capitol breach.
“The threat of domestic terrorism has never before been as stark as it is now, in the wake of the January 6th attack on the Capitol,” Schneider said in a statement. “Since 2017, the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act has been ahead of the curve in recognizing the threat of racially and ethnically motivated violent extremism and offering clear steps in how to prevent its spread.”
Both Democrat and GOP lawmakers have condemned the the Capitol incident, which occurred during the joint session of Congress, and all are calling on federal agencies to find the answers as to why there was not adequate security that day.
Steven M. D’Antuono, the assistant FBI director, told reporters at a Jan. 26 briefing that the FBI is combing through digital media to find those responsible for the Jan. 6 incident.
“Not only are we focused on finding those who breached the Capitol, damaged the building, or stole government property but we are also looking to find those who violently assaulted the law enforcement officers who were trying to protect the Capitol and prevent the disruption of our democratic process,” he said.
D’Antuono said that no matter how long it takes, they are committed to “finding out how and why” the Capitol was breached.
Monday House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced in a letter to House Democrats on Monday plans for the creation of a “9/11-type commission” to investigate the incident.
“To protect our security, our security, our security, our next step will be to establish an outside, independent 9/11-type Commission to ‘investigate and report on the facts and causes relating to January 6, 2021, domestic terrorist attack upon the United States Capitol Complex,'” Pelosi wrote.
Meanwhile, Republicans including House Administration Committee Ranking Member Rodney Davis (R-Ill.), House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), House Oversight Committee Ranking Member James Comer (R-Ky.), and House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), sent a letter to Pelosi demanding answers about what she knew about security requests prior to Jan. 6.
“Capitol Police requested National Guard help prior to January 6th. That request was denied by Speaker Pelosi and her Sergeant at Arms. During the attack, Capitol Police made the request again. It took over an hour to get approval from Pelosi’s team,” Rep. Jordan said in a Twitter post Monday.
“On January 7th, Speaker Pelosi claimed that the Capitol Police Chief hadn’t called since the attack,” he added. “We now know that’s not true. Chief [Steven] Sund briefed Pelosi’s team twice during the attack!”
Pelosi’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.