When Biden signs the bill June 19th, the day celebrating the emancipation of enslaved Americans, will become a federal holiday.
On Tuesday, the Senate endorsed the bill unanimously. Yesterday, the House passed the bill by a vote of 415-14.
Here are the 14 members of the House of Representatives who voted “no”:
- Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala.
- Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz.
- Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn.
- Rep. Tom Tiffany, R-Wis.
- Rep. Doug LaMalfa, R-Calif.
- Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Ala.
- Rep. Ralph Norman, R-S.C.
- Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas
- Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz.
- Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Calif.
- Rep. Matt Rosendale, R-Mont.
- Rep. Ronny Jackson, R-Texas
- Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky.
- Rep. Andrew Clyde, R-Ga.
All white guys.
Here is USA TODAY:
Several of those representatives shared why they were voting against the bill.
Rep. Ronny Jackson, R-Texas, told USA TODAY he thinks there are enough federal holidays.
“We have enough federal holidays right now. I just don’t see the reason in doing it,” he said. “I don’t think it rises to the level I’m going to support it.”
Republican Montana Rep. Matt Rosendale released a statement on his vote against S.B. 475.
“Let’s call an ace an ace. This is an effort by the Left to create a day out of whole cloth to celebrate identity politics as part of its larger efforts to make Critical Race Theory the reigning ideology of our country. Since I believe in treating everyone equally, regardless of race, and that we should be focused on what unites us rather than our differences, I will vote no,” Rosendale said.
Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., argued that referring to Juneteenth as a national independence day would confuse people.
“I fully support creating a day to celebrate the abolition of slavery, a dark portion of our nation’s history. However, naming this day ‘national independence day’ will create confusion and push Americans to pick one of those two days as their independence day based on their racial identity,” Massie said on the House floor. “Why can’t we name this ’emancipation day’ and come together as Americans and celebrate that day together as Americans?”
Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, also objected to the name of the bill.
“Juneteenth should be commemorated as the expression of the realization of the end of slavery in the United States – and I commend those who worked for its passage,” Roy said in a statement.
“I could not vote for this bill, however, because the holiday should not be called ‘Juneteenth National Independence Day’ but rather, ‘Juneteenth National Emancipation [or Freedom or otherwise] Day.’ This name needlessly divides our nation on a matter that should instead bring us together by creating a separate Independence Day based on the color of one’s skin,” he said.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Rep. Andrew Clyde, the only member of the Georgia delegation to vote no, declined to answer a reporter’s question about his vote.
Read the rest here.
Here is Alabama.Com: on Mo Brooks:
While Brooks told AL.com that the end of slavery was “huge for America” and “ought to be celebrated as much as the 4th of July,” he said the bill “should have been celebrating the Emancipation Proclamation or the passage of the 13th, 14th or 15th amendments or the end of the Civil War, any of which would have been dates of national significance rather than a date apportioned in one state.”
The Huntsville congressman also said he had fiscal concerns about the bill, noting that adding a federal holiday would cost the country $1 billion in lost productivity by giving federal workers a day off.
“The cost should have been offset by eliminating one of the other holidays so that taxpayers don’t once again have to foot the bill for paying millions of people not to work,” he said.
Asked which federal holiday should be cut to add one that celebrates the end of slavery, Brooks said, “I have some thoughts, but I’m not going to volunteer a holiday and get a group of folks unnecessarily mad at me unless it was going to be a trade-off.”
Here is AZ Central on Biggs:
Biggs indicated in a tweet before his vote that he didn’t like the name of the Juneteenth bill, which commemorates the end of slavery in Texas in 1865.
The approved bill is called the “Juneteenth National Independence Day Act.” Biggs said he favored “Juneteenth National Emancipation Day.”
“They could have made this a really harmonious, celebratory bill because I think everybody would have passed this thing unanimously if they would have taken it through a committee,” he said. “But they’ve weaponized this bill like they weaponize everything else. They want to divide, and that’s just a shame.”
Gosar could not be reached for a comment explaining his vote.
Read the rest here.
Tom Tiffany also voted against the Asian American hate crimes bill.