Washington – Congress unanimously passed a resolution on Tuesday condemning neo-Nazis, the KKK and other white nationalists that urges US President Donald Trump to address hate groups after deadly racially-charged violence in Charlottesville, Virginia during August.
The joint resolution, which describes the violence as a “domestic terrorist attack”, calls on the Trump administration to improve data collection on hate crimes and speak out against increasingly prevalent hate groups.
The House of Representatives unanimously approved the measure on Tuesday, after the Senate did so a day earlier, and it now goes to Trump for his signature.
Lawmakers from Virginia said Congress spoke with “a unified voice” to unequivocally condemn the unrest, in which a counter-demonstrator was killed when a car driven by a suspected white supremacist plowed into a crowd after a rally called by far-right extremists turned violent.
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The measure recognises and offers condolences for the death of Heather Heyer, two emergency responders also killed in a helicopter crash while monitoring the protest, and the 19 people injured in the violence.
“I hope this bipartisan action will help heal the wounds left in the aftermath of this tragedy and send a clear message to those that seek to divide our country that there is no place for hate and violence,” said House Democrat Gerry Connelly.
Trump was widely criticised for using divisive language after clashes between white supremacist groups and those opposed to them.
The president’s job approval ratings sank to one of the lowest levels of his turbulent seven-month presidency, as respondents savaged his handling of racial issues following the deadly chaos.
The resolution expresses “support for the Charlottesville community, rejecting white nationalists, white supremacists, the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis and other hate groups, and urging the president and the president’s cabinet to use all available resources to address the threats posed by those groups”.