Rep. Chip Roy (TX-21) issued the following statement Tuesday regarding his vote on H.R. 55:
Lynching is an unspeakably heinous crime. But This bill doesn’t have anything to do with lynching, other than its name.
It does not make lynching a federal offense. In fact it creates no new federal offenses. It simply raises the punishment for things that are already federal crimes, including those that are unrelated to lynching — such as gender identity — in an effort to advance a woke agenda under the guise of correcting racial injustice.
Congress and the media should be honest with the American people about what bills do and don’t do. As much as I favor harsher penalties for violent offenders, this is a matter for the states and I will not vote for legislative deception. I will also not support enhancing the power of a federal government that so often abuses it.
Rep. Thomas Massie said:
Here are the reasons I voted NO on the Anti-lynching Act last Congress and why I voted NO last night:
(1) The Constitution specifies only a handful of federal crimes, and leaves the rest to individual states to prosecute.
(2) This bill expands current federal “hate crime” laws. A crime is a crime, and all victims deserve equal justice. Adding enhanced penalties for “hate” tends to endanger other liberties such as freedom of speech.
(3) Lynching a person is already illegal in every state. Passing this legislation falsely implies that lynching someone does not already constitute criminal activity.
(4) The bill creates another federal crime of “conspiracy,” which I’m concerned could be enforced overbroadly on people who are not perpetrators of a crime.