GOP Sen: Bundy Ranch Supporters Are ‘Patriots,’ Not ‘Domestic Terrorists’

Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) on Friday got some public pushback from fellow Nevada Sen. Dean Heller (R) for calling the supporters of rancher Cliven Bundy’s standoff “domestic terrorists.”

“What Sen. Reid may call domestic terrorists, I call patriots,” Heller said on KSNV-TV as quoted by Roll Call, with Reid sitting to his side. “We have a very different view on this.”

Bundy has been in a dispute with officials from the Bureau of Land Management over grazing fees on federal lands. Authorities began to round up his cattle earlier this month because he hasn’t paid any fees in 20 years, leading to the standoff last weekend.

“These people who hold themselves out to be patriots are not. They are domestic terrorists,” Reid said at an event Thursday.

“It’s a pretty broad brush,” Heller said of Reid’s characterization. “When you have boy scouts there, you have veterans at the event, you have grandparents at the event.”

“That’s grandmothers? That’s boy scouts? I hope not,” Reid said of the standoff.

“I take more issues with BLM coming in with a paramilitary army of people, individuals with snipers, and I’m talking to people and groups that were there at the event, and to have your own government with sniper lenses on you, it made a lot of people very uncomfortable,” Heller said.

Heller added that he hoped Congress would hold hearings on the matter.

“I want to find out who’s accountable for this,” he said, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

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