WASHINGTON, DC (NEXSTAR) – On Tuesday, Congress voted on its large defense spending bill and a small part of it tries to address white supremacist ideology within the military.
That’s not the only effort lawmakers are making to deal with the issue.
Jackie Speier says there’s no place for white supremacist ideology in our military.
“We have members serving right now who engage in white nationalism, white supremacism,” Representative Jackie Speier, D-California, said.
The Congresswoman is urging all branches to look for white supremacists in their ranks and is using an amendment in the National Defense Authorization Act to go even further.
“We’re also going to create a crime of white extremism within the uniform code of military justice,” Speier said.
Speier says white supremacists in the military are actively recruiting others.
Her Democrat House colleague, Norma Torres, says the problem is spreading elsewhere.
“There has been infiltration in law enforcement,” Representative Norma Torres, D-California, said.
Torres says the FBI investigated white supremacy in law enforcement more than a decade ago but never made their findings public.
“Officers that were looked at back when the report was first created could be in supervisory positions by now,” Torres said.
Torres wants all data about white supremacists in law enforcement made public.
Some Republicans say that’s a good idea, but warn taking it too far is a mistake.
“I just don’t want it to become a witch hunt against cops,” Representative Doug LaMalfa, R-California, said.
Republican Doug LaMalfa says he believes police agencies want to avoid overt racism but says it’s wrong to over scrutinize.
“To make it a brand new mandate that we’re going to flip over every stone looking for a hint of somebody that may have said the wrong word at one time,” LaMalfa said.
LaMalfa says unfortunately racist elements will exist in any large institution and isn’t a problem congress can legislate away.