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UPDATE: Senate Resolution Will Force Trump To Condemn Hate Groups

by Countable | 9.12.17

What's the story?

UPDATE: On Monday, September 11, the Senate unanimously approved a resolution condemning neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups. The joint resolution now goes to the House, where, as PBS reports, "identical language has been introduced by Virginia Reps. Tom Garrett and Gerry Connolly with support from the entire Virginia House delegation." If both chambers adopt the resolution, it will go to President Trump for his signature.

As our previous story, below, explained, this resolution would force the President to officially go on record condemning the hate groups that rallied in Charlottesville last month.

Original story published on September 6, 2017

Senate Resolution Will Force Trump To Condemn Hate Groups

A bipartisan group of senators have introduced a joint resolution condemning white nationalists, neo-Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan, white supremacists and other hate groups. If the resolution passes, it will require President Trump’s signature, making the President go on record as officially condemning the white supremacist rallies in Charlottesville last month.

Why does it matter?

Democratic Sens. Mark Warner (VA) and Tim Kaine (VA), and Republican Sens. Johnny Isakson (GA) and Cory Gardner (CO) introduced the five-page resolution which is backed by the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, the Anti-Defamation League and the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.

In a statement introducing the measure, Warner said:

"Let there be no mistake: what happened in Charlottesville was an act of domestic terrorism perpetrated by a white supremacist, one that tragically cut short the life of a young woman, Heather Heyer, who was speaking out against hatred and bigotry. We will be pressing our colleagues to swiftly and unanimously approve this resolution in order to send a strong message that the United States Congress unconditionally condemns racist speech and violence."

The resolution also urges the Trump administration to "use all available resources to address the threats posed by" white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups, which it calls “hateful expressions of intolerance that are contradictory to the values that define the people of the United States.”

The resolution describes Heyer’s death, and the injuries suffered by 19 other people after a car allegedly driven by a neo-Nazi slammed into them, as a "domestic terrorist attack."

As Politico explained, "The Senate routinely takes up nonbinding measures commemorating people and institutions in the form of concurrent resolutions and simple resolutions, which are both purely symbolic and not submitted to the White House for the president’s signature."

Joint resolutions like this one, however, are sent to the president’s desk to sign into law.

The potential politics involved cannot be ignored. The President received widespread condemnation – from across the political spectrum - for his remarks that the events in Charlottesville where caused by "hatred, bigotry and violence—on many sides." Trump also argued that there were “very fine people” on both sides of the demonstrations. As U.S. News and World Report put it, with this resolution “the senators are maneuvering to require Trump to choose between an explicit, one-sided condemnation of the white supremacist groups and risking a new round of recriminations if he vetoes it.”

The right-leaning Washington Examiner expressed concerns about the resolution. In an op-ed about the measure, Tom Rogan wrote that he worries about certain language in the resolution, especially its reference to "white nationalists" and call for “the Secretary of Homeland Security to ... prevent those groups from fomenting and facilitating additional violence."

"While I support legal action against groups ‘facilitating’ violence, to me, ‘white nationalists’ and ‘fomenting’ are unduly broad and subjective terms. After all, what is a "white nationalist?" Some will believe it includes writers such as Pat Buchanan or even Donald Trump, who express concerns about the perceived decline of white America. And if that's the case, it's not too much of a leap to believe that some may regard this resolution as a call to monitor these ‘fomenting’ individuals more closely.

What do you think?

Should the Senate pass this resolution? Should Trump go on record as condemning these hate groups? Or is the language too broad and subjective? Hit the Take Action button and tell your reps how to vote. Then comment below.

—Josh Herman

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(Photo Credit: Library of Congress / Creative Commons)

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(186)
  • Andy1
    09/06/2017
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    We should not force trump to say words he does not mean, we just need him to not be president anymore. The next president hopefully will enthusiastically denounce hate group without prompting

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  • Erin
    09/06/2017
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    This is an empty gesture, equivalent to making your kid apologize for being a bully on the playground. If Trump needs prompting to condemn Nazis, then we already know his true colors, no matter what the Senate forces him to do. A better solution would be to find someone to be president who's not a colossal bigot.

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  • Jacob
    09/06/2017
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    An empty gesture, but it would be symbolic and significant if it went through. Nice to see congress working in a bipartisan manner.

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  • Lori
    09/06/2017
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    If you have to "force" Trump to condemn hate groups, you need to take it to the next level and "force" him and his "administration" including Pence, McConnell, Ryan and his children out of the oval office. Completely !

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  • James
    09/06/2017
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    Having to force a President to denounce hate groups like the Klan and Neo-Nazis is shameful beyond belief. It's time he gets the boot.

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  • Annette
    09/06/2017
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    It's about time that our representatives spoke out against this!

    Like (16)
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  • KaitlynCooper
    09/06/2017
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    It's sad that we have to force him to feel something against this that is negative because otherwise he doesn't feel like this is a bad thing. He says terrorists can be only be Muslim or brown people or even black people, but he doesn't believe that white people can be terrorists to. Even though what was done in Charlottesville was an act of terrorism. It's really really sad that we have such an immature gross racist bastard of a president who can't even condemn white supremacists and terrorists that are white.

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  • Norma
    09/06/2017
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    Everyone knows what happened at Charlottesville. It was the left hate groups that started the violence. Your news doesn't show it but people use video to show what really went down. ANTIFA and BLM need to be included in the mentioning of hate groups.

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  • Sara
    09/06/2017
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    I think they should pass this resolution and force Trump to either sign it or veto it. Clearly the government, and its leader, are only encouraging white supremacists and bigots, not encouraging tolerance.

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  • Janene
    09/06/2017
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    Grow up folks and put on your big kid panties. President Trump has done NOTHING WRONG. He doesn't support any hate groups and this is a waste of time.

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  • Ric
    09/07/2017
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    Obviously the Senate is not serious about condemning "hate groups". There's no mention of the groups Black Lives Matter and Antifa. Tragic as Heyer's death was, these hate groups were the major cause of it. The police are equally as culpable since they failed to take any crowd control action until after the accident that killed her. We should all condemn hate groups - all hate groups.

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  • Todd
    09/12/2017
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    I have a much better and easier solution: IMPEACH TRUMP NOW!!!!!!!!

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  • Eric
    09/07/2017
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    It's clear who watches Fox News on this feed...

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  • James
    09/12/2017
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    What do you think? Should the Senate pass this resolution? YES; they should. It is neither an empty gesture nor a useless resolution. The current administration must be held accountable for the consequences of its violent xenophobic rhetoric. Should Trump go on record as condemning these hate groups? YES; he should. If he cannot or will not, then he exposes himself and his administration for the miscreants we all suspect them of being. Or is the language too broad and subjective? NO; if you take the time to read the resolution, it is quit clearly word and appropriately targeted.

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  • Jewel
    09/06/2017
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    This action is vital. I would hope this would be completely bipartisan. Its a travesty that its necessary to get the man who represents every citizen, as well as being charged with defending the constitution to do what is morally and constitution required of him.

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  • Walter
    09/07/2017
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    Let there be no mistake. Violence in Charlottesville only occurred because PAID LEFTIST 'protesters ' were imported to perpetrate said violence. President Trump said what was true. How it was received was typical of the Left. Nothing further is needed.

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  • russo
    09/06/2017
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    Good. Rub his orange nose in it.

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  • verymary
    09/07/2017
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    Congress may be able to coerce Donald Trump into signing an anti-hate resolution, but it will not be able to lend any sincerity to his empty gesture. His life has been a gaudy tribute to white male supremacy.

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  • Chris
    09/06/2017
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    It's really sad that we have to pass a resolution to get the president of the United States to disavow hate groups.

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  • Caren
    09/06/2017
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    Yes, absolutely anything resembling a hate group should be condemned.

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