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House Minority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) said on CBS' "Face the Nation" Sunday that he supports making domestic terrorism a federal crime after mass shooters in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, killed 31 people last weekend.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Do you think domestic terrorism should be a federal crime?
SCALISE: I do, and in fact I applaud what's being done both at the FBI and with our new acting homeland security secretary. His first week in office, he put in place a task force to go look at a lot of the online recruiting that's gone on to radicalize people. We're seeing a very alarming increase in domestic terrorism. ... We need to make sure the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security have the tools they need to go and root out — whether it's white supremacist, whether it's radicals from the left that are committing some of these crimes."

The big picture: Federal authorities have launched domestic terrorism investigations into the incident in El Paso and the mass shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in California, which killed 3 people earlier this month. Because there is currently no clear federal domestic terrorism statute, the Justice Department cannot prosecute these cases under the same terrorism laws applied to foreign nationals.

  • The FBI Agents Association on Tuesday called for Congress to make domestic terrorism a federal crime, stating: "This would ensure that FBI Agents and prosecutors have the best tools to fight domestic terrorism.”
  • When pressed on what specific "tools" Republicans would vote to give law enforcement, Scalise said funding for resources to help understand and curb online extremism will be a priority when Congress undertakes the budget process in September.

Go deeper: El Paso suspect confessed to targeting Mexicans in mass shooting

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - World

Biden reviews U.S. arms deals with Saudi Arabia and UAE

Trump struck several large arms deals with Mohammed bin Salman (L) and Saudi Arabia. Photo: Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images

The Biden administration has put on hold two big arms deals with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates which were approved in the final weeks of the Trump administration, a State Department official told Axios.

Why it matters: The sales of F-35 jets and attack drones to the UAE and a large supply of munitions to Saudi Arabia will be paused pending a review. That signals a major policy shift from the Trump era, and may herald sharp tensions with both Gulf countries.

Trump supporter found with pipe bombs accused of plot to attack Democrats

Five improvised explosive devices that the FBI says "were fully operational and could cause great bodily harm or injury if handled improperly." Photo: FBI/Justice Department

The FBI believes California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) and the Bay Area headquarters of Twitter and Facebook were targets of a man facing federal explosives charges, according to a criminal complaint.

Driving the news: Prosecutors charged Ian Benjamin Rogers after finding weapons including five pipe bombs, 49 guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition following a Jan. 15 search of his Napa County home and auto repair business. His alleged goal was to ensure former President Trump remained in office.

6 hours ago - Health

Fauci: COVID vaccine rollout needs to prioritize people of color

Anthony Fauci. Photo: Alex Wong via Getty Images

Infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci highlighted the need to address racial disparities in the COVID-19 vaccination process, per an interview with The New England Journal of Medicine on Wednesday.

What he’s saying: "I think that's the one thing we really got to be careful of. We don't want in the beginning ... most of the people who are getting it are otherwise, well, middle-class white people."

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