White House refuses to support congressional resolution condemning white supremacists
A joint resolution condemning neo-Nazi and white supremacist violence passed both houses of Congress, but the White House has yet to commit to the legislation.
The Senate unanimously passed the joint resolution and the House passed the resolution by a voice vote on Tuesday, but a White House spokesperson said there was “no announcement at this time” when asked if President Donald Trump would sign it.
Today the Senate passed unanimously my bipartisan resolution condemning white supremacist groups & the terrorist attack in Charlottesville.
— Mark Warner (@MarkWarner) September 12, 2017
Asked whether president will sign, WH spox says "No announcements at this time." https://t.co/Scf2yh14AW
— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) September 12, 2017
The joint resolution was first introduced in the House by GOP Congressman Tom Garret, who represents Charlottesville, VA, where violence by neo-Nazis and White Supremacists during a rally last month led to the death of one counter-protester and injuries to dozens of others. Virginia Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner were behind the joint resolution’s introduction in the Senate.
According to Warner’s office, “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.’ …Finally, the resolution expresses support for the people of Charlottesville as that community heals ‘following these acts of violent bigotry.’”
Specifically, the resolution asks President Trump to “speak out against hate groups that espouse racism, extremism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, and White supremacy” and to use “all resources available to the President” and his cabinet to address the growing prevalence of those hate groups in the United States.”
The document also requested that Attorney General Jeff Sessions work with relevant agencies to “investigate thoroughly all acts of violence, intimidation, and domestic terrorism by White supremacists, White nationalists, neo-Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan, and associated groups.”
The resolution represents a rare moment of bipartisanship in both houses of the legislature, as they call upon the president to condemn the violence he was reluctant to name even in the aftermath of the deadly Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville last month.
Trump famously placed blame on “both sides” after the incident, despite photographic and video evidence showing that far-right extremist groups unleashed widespread violence upon counter-protesters at the rally. He also referred to the participants in the event, which included a torch-lit march through the University of Campus where white nationalists chanted Nazi slogans, as “very fine people.”