WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) Friday announced new federal action to counter violent extremism and domestic terrorism, following the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Gottheimer announced a bipartisan initiative to urge the Biden Administration to restore the Office of Community Partnerships (OCP) within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which was the designated lead on efforts to counter violent extremism until the previous Administration deprioritized the office in 2017. Gottheimer also announced new legislation to double the maximum jail sentence for a conviction of insurrection against the United States from 10 to 20 years.
“What happened on January 6th at the Capitol — while members like myself were told to duck under chairs in the House Gallery as a violent mob broke down the doors of the House Chambers — was a violent extremist attack on our democracy. We can never let that happen again,” Gottheimer said. “With a new Congress in place and with a new Administration in the White House, we must redouble our efforts to prioritize the serious threat of domestic terrorism and in our nation, as as well as ISIS-inspired, homegrown, lone wolf terrorism.”
In their letter to President Biden, Rep. Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) and Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick said, “As you take office, we write to strongly support prioritizing comprehensive action to address serious threat of domestic terrorism in the United States. As you know, on January 6, 2021, the world witnessed an unprecedented violent attack on the U.S. Capitol. It turns out that these assailants included known violent extremist groups such as the Proud Boys, Oath Keepers, Three Percenters, and many others. We appreciate that in your Inaugural Address, you acknowledged the need to confront and defeat white supremacy and domestic terrorism. We agree that we must urgently redouble our nationwide efforts to prevent more lawless violence by these and other domestic terrorists.”
Gottheimer’s announcements are outlined here:
- The Stopping Domestic Terrorists Act would double the maximum jail sentence penalties for a conviction of insurrection against the United States from 10 to 20 years.
- Gottheimer and Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-1) led a letter to the President Biden requesting increased resources for preventing terrorism and homegrown violent extremism, including CVE grants to non-governmental organizations working to address radicalization; a new national strategy specifically dedicated to countering the growing threat of domestic terrorism and white supremacist extremism; and a centralized operational Department of Homeland Security (DHS) headquarters office dedicated to coordinating all-of-government domestic terrorism prevention efforts.