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DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

For the first time, states and localities will spend at least $77 million of Department of Homeland Security grant money on combatting domestic violent extremism, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced on Thursday.

Why it matters: Domestic terrorism has been on the rise in the U.S., spurred on by growing polarization and the mainstreaming of online conspiracy theories. In the wake of the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, Mayorkas has made fighting the problem a "National Priority Area."

What they're saying: "Today the most significant terrorist threat facing the nation comes from lone offenders and small groups of individuals who commit acts of violence motivated by domestic extremist ideological beliefs," Mayorkas said in a statement.

Between the lines: The move means that state and local governments that receive the State Homeland Security Program (SHSP) or Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) grants will be required to spend at least 7.5% of the money received on combating domestic violent extremism.

  • Together, those programs provide more than $1 billion of assistance to state and local governments.

The big picture: In his inaugural address, two weeks after the Capitol attack, President Biden repudiated political extremism, white supremacy and domestic terrorism and vowed to defeat them.

  • Two days later, his administration rolled out a three-pronged interagency plan to assess and combat the threat posed by domestic violent extremism.
  • Biden's attorney general nominee Merrick Garland has pledged to make prosecuting the Jan. 6 insurrectionists his first priority, and said in his confirmation hearing that the U.S. is "facing a more dangerous period than we faced" after the Oklahoma City bombing of 1995.

Go deeper

Updated Mar 24, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden Cabinet tracker: Which nominees have been confirmed

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on Jan. 16 in Wilmington, Delaware. Photo: Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images

All of President Biden's Cabinet nominees have now been confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

The big picture: Biden now has known, trusted people around him, many from the Obama administration, to help implement his policies and turn away from the tumultuous Trump years.

Chauvin trial leaves cities, activists across America on edge

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

The impact of the Derek Chauvin trial is reverberating far beyond the walls of the downtown Minneapolis courtroom.

The state of play: With the trial set to enter its third week, activists across America are watching the proceedings unfold with heavy skepticism that what they perceive as justice will be served.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

The dispiriting housing boom

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

It's a discouraging scene: Bidding wars, soaring prices, and fears that homeownership is becoming out of reach for millions of Americans. We're in a housing frenzy, driven by a massive shortage of inventory — and no one seems to be happy about it.

Why it matters: Not all bubbles burst. Real estate, in particular, tends to rise in value much more easily than it falls. Besides, says National Association of Realtors chief economist Lawrence Yun, this "is not a bubble. It is simply lack of supply."