Republican leaders in the Senate have shut down a bill that would create a domestic terrorism law, something civil rights leaders and federal authorities have begged the government to create, according to HuffPost. 

The United States has no domestic terrorism law, making it difficult for federal authorities to levy charges against groups committing acts of terror across the country, particularly white nationalist or white supremacist groups that have been at the center of dozens of recent attacks, as Blavity previously reported

A recent report from the Department of Homeland Security called white supremacy "the most persistent and lethal threat in the homeland," and acknowledges the startling expansion of organized white supremacist groups across the country. 

But on Friday, Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) blocked Senator Dick Durbin from advancing his "Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act." Johnson said on the senate floor that he was following orders from the Department of Justice to block the bill. He said the domestic terrorism bill would somehow seriously impede their ability to work in the domestic terrorism space.

A spokesman for the Justice Department, which is headed by controversial Attorney General Bill Barr, told HuffPost that they had "technical concerns" about the bill, but would not explain what the concerns are. 

In a statement on his website, Durbin slammed President Donald Trump and senior Republicans for their repeated inability to separate themselves from white nationalism and white supremacist terrorism.

Durbin cited the recent controversy over Trump telling members of a white nationalist group to "stand back and stand by" during a presidential debate last week. 

“The President couldn’t find an answer two days ago. Today, we get a Republican objection to continue in a bipartisan basis, as they did in the House, to address this issue. It is a sad moment. I do believe the Senator from Wisconsin and many others when they say that they are against extremists. They had a chance to prove it. They objected,” Durbin said.

In multiple interviews, the president has refused to condemn white supremacy and white nationalist groups by instead pivoting to alleged violence perpetrated by unknown left-wing organizations. 

According to Durbin, his bill would help federal authorities handle domestic terrorism by pushing federal law enforcement agencies to look into the domestic terrorism threat, regularly assess it, focus specific resources on the problem and give training to local authorities specifically for domestic terrorism. 

The bill has passed in the House of Representatives, which itself has already passed numerous bills to put a domestic terrorism in place to no avail. Last year, Blavity reported that Black senior congressman Bennie Thompson unveiled a new piece of legislation that sought to address domestic terrorism and violent white supremacist groups.

Like Durbin's bill, Thompson's sought to force the Justice Department, Homeland Security and the FBI to track domestic terrorism and release annual reports on their findings. Republicans have repeatedly fought any attempts to track domestic terrorism, telling the press that any domestic terrorism effort would unfairly target right-wing groups.

Dozens of news outlets have done in-depth stories revealing how little the federal government can or will do to stop white nationalist groups from enacting race and gender-based violence across the country.

Two weeks ago, Republican FBI Director Christopher Wray spoke in front of Congress and openly spoke about the burgeoning threat posed by white nationalist groups and said “the top threat we face from domestic violent extremists stems from those we identify as racially/ethnically motivated violent extremists.”

"Domestic terrorism, fueled largely by a surge in white supremacist extremism, presents a growing threat to the security of our homeland,” said Thompson, chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, in a statement.

“In 2018, the lives of 50 Americans were taken as a result of domestic extremist-related killings—all connected to right-wing extremism, and mostly tied to white supremacism. Yet, few Americans know much about what exactly the Federal government is doing to prevent domestic terrorism,” he added.

Even Trump administration officials have been alarmed by the recent expansion of white nationalist groups and their growing sophistication. Controversial acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Chad Wolf admitted in a recent report that white supremacists were increasingly attacking other Americans.

“I am particularly concerned about white supremacist violent extremists who have been exceptionally lethal in their abhorrent, targeted attacks in recent years. Russia is the likely primary covert influence actor and purveyor of disinformation and misinformation within the homeland,” Wolf said.

Without a federal domestic terrorism law, authorities are forced to use state laws or find other federal violations for those who commit violence on U.S. soil. The lack of a federal statute is also why authorities are often wary of officially calling white mass murderers "terrorists."

In a statement to HuffPost, the House sponsor of the bill Rep. Brad Schneider, did not hold back in his assessment of why Republicans would be stalling efforts to stop terrorism. 

“The President’s own FBI Director called this ‘the top threat we face from domestic violent extremists,’ so there is no question we need to allocate resources toward specifically addressing the threat posed by the Proud Boys, Boogaloos, and other white nationalist thugs, whose stated means and goals are simply violence,” Schneider said.

“Senator [Mitch] McConnell and Attorney General [William] Barr’s positions represent a giveaway to terrorists in order to score political points with the President,” he added.