In case you thought congressional Republicans would be infused with a fresh sense of constitutionalism, patriotism, and moral clarity on the heels of this Independence Day weekend, think again. House Republicans will continue their dyslexic response to Orlando by validating the Left’s entire premise regarding homeland security and guns.
Last week, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas (A, 97%) conducted a hearing which revealed that the Department of Homeland Security, at the behest of Muslim Brotherhood organizations, is deleting critical counter-terrorism research that would have connected many Muslim Brotherhood leaders to global Islamic terror networks and could have prevented some of the recent attacks. When Cruz asked Jeh Johnson, Secretary of Homeland Security, about this at a subsequent hearing, the lead homeland security officer vehemently denied having any knowledge of the cover-up and adamantly declined to investigate it.
A sane Republican Party would immediately pursue this issue, and the failure to do so belies our failed homeland security policy. Instead, Republicans plan to pass an “anti-terror package,” which actually validates the very Muslim Brotherhood agenda endangering our homeland. The House will vote on H.R. 5611, which would grow the fledgling department even more by creating the Office for Partnerships to Prevent Terrorism to engage the Muslim community in pursuit of counter-terrorism strategies. This bill mirrors Rep. Michael McCaul’s R, Texas (D, 60%) “Countering Violent Extremism” bill which passed the House Committee on Homeland Security last year and appoints a new assistant secretary that will be unaccountable to Congress. The bill tasks the Civil Rights and Civil Liberties office of DHS, which serves as ground zero for Muslim Brotherhood influence on this administration, with dispensing the grant funds. The legislation also uses inaccurate liberal talking points with regards to the nature of the Islamic threat and lone wolf attacks.
After taking incoming fire from conservatives for echoing and legitimizing the Muslim Brotherhood agenda, this new bill scrubs all references to “violent” extremism and indeed uses the term Islamic extremism. This is a complete dog and pony show. The problem with the existing policies of DHS are not limited to the nomenclature. House leaders could use the term “Islamic” to appease conservatives, but, absent a wholesale makeover of the department’s personnel and a complete ban on Muslim Brotherhood participation, the new funds and offices will be used to expand the existing dangerous policies. It’s akin to throwing more money and resources at a fire department that has already been infiltrated by arsonists.
If Republicans were serious about fixing the problem, they would bar any grant funds from going to groups implicated in the Holy Land Foundation trial. They could mandate reforms to the counter-terrorism training for federal law enforcement officers in light of Phil Haney’s expose showing how the DHS and FBI scrubbed all fact-based training in Islamic history and Islamic law for the purpose of formulating threat assessments.
Immediately following the Orlando attack, I listed eight ways Republicans can go on offense. Sadly, they’ve chosen to go on offense for Democrats. In addition to expanding DHS offices that Obama will stock with Muslim Brotherhood sympathizers, the bill contains a provision expanding the power of the Attorney General to deny gun purchases to those listed on random terror watch lists. Although this provision is not nearly as sweeping as the Democratic proposal, the entire premise of focusing on this non-sequitur is offensive. It’s preposterous to focus on lists that never net potential terrorists while there are known individuals or groups affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood who are given security clearances in our homeland security agencies. Also, the minute Republicans pass this bill, the Obama administration could expand the watch list to include anyone, perhaps even political enemies.
The sad irony is that the Senate will actually focus on something worthy this week – going after sanctuary cities and instituting mandatory minimum sentences for illegal aliens who re-enter the country after being deported. The latter bill is Ted Cruz’s “Kate’s Law,” addressing the many criminal aliens that continue to re-enter the country, including the one who killed Kate Steinle in San Francisco last year. Wouldn’t it be prudent to have both houses of Congress focus on the same messaging this week and put the Democrats on defense? Instead, House Republicans will allow Democrats to continue distracting the public with their gun control agenda. Alas, after the Senate undermined conservatives for the past two weeks, it must be too much to ask that both chambers actually stay on message for one week.
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Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.