The Senate unanimously passed legislation on Tuesday to make Juneteenth, which celebrates the emancipation of formerly enslaved African Americans, a federal holiday.
The bill – whose adoption comes just days before June 19, which is celebrated on June 19 – has yet to be passed in the House. But it’s a big step forward after a similar resolution has been blocked in recent years by Republican senators.
“Glad that my bill to recognize Juneteenth as a national holiday has just been passed by the Senate. It has been a holiday in Texas for over 40 years. Now more than ever, we must learn from our history and continue to to form a union “, sen. John cornynJohn CornynSenate confirms Garland’s successor on appeals court Biparty infrastructure deal catches fire left and right Rising crime rejuvenates campaign gun control debate MORE (R-Texas), the main sponsor of the GOP, tweeted after the Senate action.
Senator Ed markeyEd Markey Climate progressives launch first action against Biden amid growing frustration Senate Democrats urge Google to conduct racial fairness audit Senate climate advocates start digging into infrastructure targets MORE (D-Mass.), Who sponsored the bill, presided over the chamber when the majority leader Charles SchumerChuck Schumer: In Congress, what’s going on behind closed doors? Senate Judiciary Begins Investigation of DOJ Lawmaker’s Summons America Needs a Stable Israeli Government MORE (DN.Y.) successfully obtained it.
While Juneteenth commemorates the abolition of slavery, the date is not a reference to the end of legal slavery in the United States, but to the time when slaves in Texas learned their freedom.
Senator Ron johnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonHillicon Valley: House Targets Tech Giants With Antitrust Bills | president of JBS press monitoring on payment to hackers | spokesperson joins tech company | YouTube suspends GOP senator YouTube suspends Ron Johnson for 7 days GOP senators introduce bill to bring Iran deal for Senate approval MORE (R-Wis.), Who was seen as the key to remember, announced earlier Tuesday that he had dropped his objection to the bill being passed, paving the way for the Senate.
“While it still seems odd that taxpayers are giving federal employees paid time off that is now necessary to celebrate the end of slavery, it is clear that there is no appetite in Congress to discuss further of the question. Therefore, I have no intention of opposing it, ”Johnson said in a statement.
Johnson had already opposed the resolution last year, arguing that it gave federal workers another paid day off. Johnson had traded Juneteenth with Columbus Day on the federal government’s statutory holiday list.
A poll released by Gallup on Tuesday found more Americans were in favor of making Juneteenth a national holiday than not.
According to the poll, nearly 35% of Americans think June 15 should become a federal holiday, while only about 25% are against it. Forty percent of Americans are undecided on the issue.