Speed Reads

charlottesville aftermath

Congress has found an unusual way to get Trump to condemn white supremacists

On Tuesday night, the House easily passed a bipartisan joint resolution urging President Trump to "speak out against hate groups that espouse racism, extremism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, and white supremacy," and "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." The Senate passed the measure by unanimous consent on Monday night, and Congress deliberately structured the measure as a joint resolution so that Trump has to sign it, rather than a simple or concurrent resolution, which expresses the sense of Congress without the president's signature.

The White House declined to say that Trump will sign the resolution, according to Politico's Kyle Cheney, though Congress expects him to.

The resolution was negotiated and introduced by Virginia's congressional delegation after Trump equivocated on condemning the white nationalist protesters at a rally in Charlottesville. The measure says that anti-racism protester Heather Heyer's murder was a "domestic terrorist attack," and called on Attorney General Jeff Sessions 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" and also "improve the reporting of hate crimes" to the FBI.