The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday approved an amendment aimed at combating white supremacists and neo-Nazi activity in the police and military, despite every Republican voting against the measure.
The amendment, sponsored by Rep. Brad Schneider, was passed in a 218-208 party-line vote on Wednesday. All 208 votes against the amendment came from House Republicans, according to The Hill.
“We just voted to combat neo nazis in our military and every single republican voted no,” tweeted New Jersey Democratic congressman Bill Pascrell after the amendment was passed.
The “Schneider Amendment” calls on the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Secretary of Defense to publish a report that sets out ways to identify supremacist and neo-Nazi activity in the uniformed services and law enforcement agencies “not later than 180 days after enactment and every 6 months thereafter.”
The measure also calls for the total number of people who were discharged from the military or police because of their links to or support for far-right extremism to be published, Newsweek reported.
Addressing his colleagues from the House floor, Schneider pointed out how the U.S. has seen a surge in domestic extremist incidents, such as the deadly 2017 neo-Nazi “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the mass shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh in 2018.
“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 during debate on the House floor. “These are exceptions, they are rare, but we must do everything we can to identify them and to thwart them before risks become a reality, he added.
Republican congressman Andy Biggs, of Arizona, was one of those who spoke out against the amendment, describing it as “Orwellian.”
“This amendment attempts to create a problem where none exists by requesting investigations into law enforcement and the armed services for alleged rampant white supremacists or white national sympathies,” Biggs said.
The House is now expected to pass the full NDAA. It will then be passed over to the Senate, where it could be stripped down.