The NDAA amendment was sponsored by Rep. Brad Schneider (D-Ill.) and instructs the FBI, Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and Department of Defense (DOD) to publish a report analyzing “white supremacist and neo-Nazi activity” within military and law enforcement.
The amendment passed in a 218–208 vote where it faced unilateral opposition from Republicans.
“Such behavior, such extremism is a threat to us in all segments of society. There is no reason to believe that our military is any different,” Schneider said on the House floor late on the evening on July 13 in defense of the amendment.
“These are exceptions,” Schneider insisted. “They are rare, but we must do everything we can to identify them and to thwart them before risks become a reality.”
If the amendment is passed by the Senate, the FBI, DHS, and DOD would be required within 180 days to send Congress a report on the number of people discharged from either military service or law enforcement for “white supremacist” or “neo-Nazi” ideology.
House Republicans opposed the amendment, which they said was overly intrusive and “denigrates” law enforcement.
“This amendment attempts to create a problem where none exists by requesting investigations into law enforcement and the armed services for alleged rampant white supremacist or white national sympathies,” one such critic, Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), said in opposition to the amendment on the House floor.
This is not the first effort by Democrats to pass such a measure, and similar measures have faced condemnation by Republicans in the past for trying to impose “thought police” on military service members and law enforcement officers.
In a reference to George Orwell’s “1984,” Sen Rand Paul said the new departments created by the bill would have essentially been the “thought police” of the military.
“Congressional Democrats have gotten so extreme, so radical, so out of touch with the American people that when they read it, they think this is something worthwhile to do,” he said.