Congress approves bill to make Juneteenth a federal holiday | News – Atlanta, Georgia

Atlanta, Georgia 2021-06-16 19:32:00 –

Washington (AP) —The United States will soon celebrate a new federal holiday to commemorate the end of domestic slavery.

The House of Representatives cast 415-14 votes on Wednesday, making June 16 or June 19 the 12th federal holiday. The bill is now sent to President Joe Biden’s desk to sign the law.

Juneteenth commemorates the last time the enslaved African Americans learned they were free. Confederate soldiers surrendered in April 1865, but the last enslaved black was unspeakable until June 19, when Union soldiers brought freedom news to Galveston, Texas. .. It was also about two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation released slaves in the southern states.

This is the first new federal holiday since Martin Luther King Junior Day was founded in 1983.

Democrat Carolyn Maloney said, “Our federal holidays are deliberately few and recognize the most important milestones. More important milestones to commemorate than the end of slavery in the United States. I can’t think of it. “

She said she was in Galveston this Saturday to celebrate with Texas Senator John Cornyn.

“Can you imagine?” Said Jackson Lee, who is quite short. “I may be taller than Senator Konin. Forgive me because it makes me so happy.”

The Senate passed the bill the day before, with unanimous consent to facilitate the process of considering legislation. Only one senator objection is needed to thwart such an agreement.

“Please let me do it as the Senate. I will unanimously vote for the passage,” he said.

This bill is D-Mass. It was sponsored by Senator Edward Markey of the United States and had 60 co-sponsors. Democratic leaders swiftly moved to bring the bill to the House floor.

Some Republicans opposed the effort. Republican Rep. Matt Rosendale said creating federal holidays is an effort to celebrate “identity politics.”

“I believe in treating everyone equally, regardless of race, and we should focus on uniting us, not our differences, so I I will vote against it, “he said in a press release.

Most states recognize Juneteenth as a holiday or perform official ceremonies of the day, and most states hold holidays. Juneteenth is a paid vacation for state employees in Texas, New York, Virginia, and Washington.

Under the law, federal holidays are known as Juneteenth National Independence Day.

Republican Rep. Clay Higgins voted for the bill and supported the establishment of a federal holiday, but was angry that the name of the holiday contained the word independence rather than liberation. “Why does the Democratic Party want to politicize this by adopting the name of our sacred holiday on Independence Day?” Higgins said.

“I would like to tell my white colleague on the other side that gaining your independence from being enslaved in one country is different from gaining independence to control themselves,” Brenda said.・ Lawrence, D-Mich. Answered. We are responsible for teaching black and white Americans of all ages the pride of those who survived, endured, and succeeded in these United States despite slavery. “

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