- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Congress has approved a bipartisan joint resolution condemning racist hate groups connected to last month’s violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, and are sending it to the White House where it awaits President Trump’s potential signature.

The resolution cleared the House by unanimous consent Tuesday evening, a day after easily passing the Senate, and its joint status means it requires a response from Mr. Trump, setting the stage for the president to weigh in once again on an issue that has hounded his administration in the weeks since the Aug. 12 “Unite the Right” rally descended into chaos. A counterprotester, 32-year-old Heather Heyer, was killed when a car plowed into the crowd.

The resolution formally condemns the violence in Charlottesville as well as the “white nationalists, white supremacists, the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis and other hate groups” implicated in the rally, and urges Mr. Trump to “speak out against hate groups that espouse racism, extremism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism and white supremacy.”

Mr. Trump “absolutely” plans to sign the resolution, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Wednesday.

“He looks forward to doing so as soon as he receives it, which he hasn’t done as soon as I came out here earlier,” Mrs. Sanders said during a White House press briefing.

Billed as a rally held in support of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee slated for removal, “Unite the Right” brought thousands of participants and counterprotesters to Charlottesville last month without ever getting off the ground.

The event was sidelined when Virginia Gov. Terry McAullife declared a state of emergency after violent clashes erupted near the Lee statue before the rally’s scheduled start time, and an 20-year-old Ohio man, James Alex Fields Jr., later drove his car into a crowd of counterprotesters, killing Heyer and injuring 19 others, according to police.

Mr. Trump drew fire afterwards for describing some of the protesters and counterprotesters in Charlottesville as “very fine people” and insisting that “many sides” were to blame for the violence.

In addition to condemning the violence, the resolution declares Heyer’s death an act of “domestic terrorist” and calls on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to investigate any similar acts perpetrated by white supremacists.

It was introduced by Virginia Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, both Democrats, and a House version was offered by Rep. Tom Garrett, a Virginia Republican who represents the Charlottesville area.

Sen. Tim Scott, South Carolina Republican, is expected to discuss Mr. Trump’s reaction to the Charlottesville violence Wednesday at the White House, CNN reported.

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