Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) is advocating new federal action countering what he described as violent extremism and domestic terrorism after the Jan. 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol attack.
Gottheimer is encouraging the Biden Administration to restore the Office of Community Partnerships (OCP) within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which serves as the designated lead on efforts to counter violent extremism until the previous Administration deprioritized the office in 2017.
“What happened on Jan. 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, he said. “We can never let that happen again. 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.”
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.
Gottheimer and Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) led a letter to 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.