Senate Joint Resolution 49

Lt. H. Jay Cullen, Heather Heyer, and Trooper Pilot Berke M.M. Bates all lost their lives in events surrounding the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, VA.

Yesterday, the US Senate voted to pass S.J.Res.49 which has the very long title :

A joint resolution condemning the violence and domestic terrorist attack that took place during events between August 11 and August 12, 2017, in Charlottesville, Virginia, recognizing the first responders who lost their lives while monitoring the events, offering deepest condolences to the families and friends of those individuals who were killed and deepest sympathies and support to those individuals who were injured by the violence, expressing support for the Charlottesville community, rejecting White nationalists, White supremacists, the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis, and other hate groups, and urging the President and the President’s Cabinet to use all available resources to address the threats posed by those groups.

That’s a long title, and I feel bad for whomever had to read the title aloud during the processing of this resolution.  That person needs a vacation and likely an award for doing that.

Resolutions are passed all the time, and given the nature of the events of Charlottesville, it’s not a surprise that members of Congress put such a resolution to a vote.  The thing is, a resolution is just that.  It has no bearing on laws or any ability to be enforced.  Resolutions are a feel-good thing to make it seem like they’re doing something when they really are not.

Honestly, the most striking part of the resolution, in my opinion, can be found here”

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That Congress—

(6) rejects White nationalism, White supremacy, and neo-Nazism as hateful expressions of intolerance that are contradictory to the values that define the people of the United States; and

(7) urges—

(A) the President and his administration to—

(i) speak out against hate groups that espouse racism, extremism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, and White supremacy; and

(ii) use all resources available to the President and the President’s Cabinet to address the growing prevalence of those hate groups in the United States; and

(B) the Attorney General to work with—

(i) the Secretary of Homeland Security 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 in order to determine if any criminal laws have been violated and to prevent those groups from fomenting and facilitating additional violence; and

(ii) the heads of other Federal agencies to improve the reporting of hate crimes and to emphasize the importance of the collection, and the reporting to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, of hate crime data by State and local agencies.

Have we sunk so far as a nation where our Congress, in the year 2017, has to actually write out a resolution stating this for the president to sign?  Here’s a link to the full text of Senate Joint Resolution 49 which passed both houses by unanimous consent and is awaiting a signature from the president.

Edward Gibbon has to be chomping at the bit to get reincarnated to write about this fall as well.


3 thoughts on “Senate Joint Resolution 49

  1. If I were in Congress, I would probably vote for this resolution. Ideally, I would like to read the entire resolution and give it some thought before voting. But people in Congress have a LOT to read and give thought to, and it is a higher priority to pay attention to bills that will actually do something than to pay attention to feel-good resolutions.
    One problem I have with this resolution is that it uses the word “extremism”. The word “extremism” is too vague and should not be used. If someone means “terrorism” they should say “terrorism”. If they mean something else, they should make clear what they do mean. If they don’t know what they mean, they should be willing to admit this and should not express it until they know what they mean.


  2. “Have we sunk so far as a nation where our Congress, in the year 2017, has to actually write out a resolution stating this for the president to sign?”
    Not “the President”. For THIS President to sign? Yes


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