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Politics Democrats move reparations bill out of committee in historic vote

02:40  17 april  2021
02:40  17 april  2021 Source:   news.yahoo.com

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Reparations legislation could soon be headed to the House floor for the first time in more than three decades. Now comes the hard part. Wednesday night, the House Judiciary Committee voted to bring H.R. 40 out of committee -- a historic feat not accomplished since the late Rep. The legislation has been introduced in every Congress since then but never made it past a committee vote until last night, where it passed with the support of 25 Democrats over 17 Republicans. If passed in both chambers, the bill would establish a commission to study reparations and demonstrate to Congress the U.S

Passage by the committee clears the way for the bill to go to the House floor, potentially for a full House vote , for the first time. Jackson Lee, who told CBS News that she hopes for a full House vote on the bill this summer, said it marks an historic achievement for Congress to finally mark up a bill dealing with reparations . “The goal of this historical commission and its investigation is to bring American society to the new reckoning with how our past affects the current conditions of African Americans and to make America a better place to help and truly study the disadvantage,” she said in

On Wednesday, Democrats in the House Judiciary Committee voted to recommend the creation of a commission to consider reparations for the Black descendants of U.S. slaves.

First introduced in Congress in 1989 by the late Democratic Rep. John Conyers of Michigan, H.R. 40 had never made it out of committee until this week. Twenty-five Democrats in the Judiciary Committee voted in favor of the bill, while 17 Republicans voted against it.

“This legislation is long overdue,” Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., the Judiciary Committee chairman, said Wednesday. “H.R. 40 is intended to begin a national conversation about how to confront the brutal mistreatment of African Americans during chattel slavery, Jim Crow segregation and the enduring structural racism that remains endemic to our society today.”

Slavery Reparations Study Gets House Judiciary Hearing Next Week

  Slavery Reparations Study Gets House Judiciary Hearing Next Week A bill to study paying reparations to descendants of slaves will be considered in the House Judiciary Committee next week, paving the way for a possible vote on an issue that has become increasingly mainstream in recent years of racial reckoning. © Bloomberg Sheila Jackson Lee The House Judiciary Committee will mark up a bill from Texas Representative Sheila Jackson Lee that would focus on establishing a commission to examine the role of the federal and state governments in slavery and racial discrimination from 1619 to present day.

Wednesday night, the House Judiciary Committee voted to bring H.R. 40 out of committee — a historic feat not accomplished since the late Rep.John Conyers (D-Mich.) first introduced a reparations bill in 1989.The legislation has been introduced in every Congress since then but never While both parties have been reticent to embrace reparations legislation in the past, the majority of Republicans oppose it. A February POLITICO/Morning Consult poll found that 60 percent of Democrats support the formation of a committee to study reparations while 74 percent of Republicans oppose it.

House Democratic leaders on Wednesday committed to a floor vote for legislation to study reparations for the descendants of slaves — a historic move for the black community after the party sidestepped the debate for decades. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told reporters that Democrats plan to vote on the bill , which he said would “look at I expect it to come out of committee ," Hoyer said. The proposal is largely backed by the Congressional Black Caucus, though some senior members fear it could alienate moderate voters and the idea has divided the caucus along generational lines.

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, had reintroduced the bill earlier this year.

“We’re asking for people to understand the pain, the violence, the brutality, the chattel-ness of what we went through,” Lee said during a committee debate on Wednesday.

a person wearing a mask: Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call) © Provided by Yahoo! News Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

But many Republicans call the prospect of reparations “divisive” and say that people today should not be held responsible for what they consider wrongdoings committed in the past.

“No one should be forced to pay compensation for what they have not done,” Rep. Steve Chabot, R-Ohio, said Wednesday during the debate on the bill. “Paying reparations would amount to taking money from people who never owned slaves to compensate those who were never enslaved.”

House set to vote for slavery reparations commission

  House set to vote for slavery reparations commission A House committee this week will take an unprecedented vote to create a commission to study providing federal reparations to the descendants of black slaves. © Provided by Washington Examiner House Democrats say they have the political momentum to advance H.R. 40, an act to create a commission to study and develop reparation proposals for black people. "The historic markup of H.R.

A bill that will create a commission to study and make recommendations on how to best provide reparations to the descendants of enslaved people has advanced. Joyce Beatty and Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee attend a markup in the House Judiciary Committee of a bill to create a commission to study and address social disparities in the African American community, in Washington, April 14, 2021. The congresswoman said she has been overwhelmed by the initial reporting and reactions to the advancement of H.R. 40, calling it "heartwarming" and a positive reflection of America.

The House Rules Committee plans to move forward with a plan that will allow the chamber to operate remotely for the first time in history , capping weeks of talks to change House rules and allow committees to conduct business virtually and members to vote while away from Washington during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Slavery was and still is an evil,” Rep. Burgess Owens, R-Utah, said. “Reparation is divisive. It speaks to the fact that we are a hapless, hopeless race that never did anything but wait for white people to show up and help us. And it’s a falsehood.”

The advancement of H.R. 40 marks a victory for proponents of a national redress to the inequities caused by slavery. While the bill does not lay out how reparations would take shape, it establishes a body to study the effects of slavery and the socioeconomic discrimination that followed it.

“This is a huge development in terms of a multi-developmental struggle of African Americans in this country,” Dr. Ron Daniels, president of the National African American Reparations Commission (NAARC), told Yahoo News Friday. “This bill will go to the floor of the House of the United States to be voted on. It’s hard to express what it means that this nation is on the brink of addressing one of its original sins of enslavement and addressing its aftereffects.”

'A cry for an acknowledgement:' U.S. House Democrats urge reparations bill

  'A cry for an acknowledgement:' U.S. House Democrats urge reparations bill 'A cry for an acknowledgement:' U.S. House Democrats urge reparations billWASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday will try to advance a bill that could lead to reparations for Black Americans as part of a broader effort to address centuries of enslavement followed by modern-day institutional racism.

The move comes a day after President Joe Biden reiterated his support for the study during a meeting with leaders of the Congressional Black Caucus. ‘We did bring up the issue of reparations ,’ Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, the resolution’s primary sponsor, told reporters outside the White House Tuesday at the ‘We are grateful for that,’ she added. Lee noted that Wednesday’s vote will be the first time the reparations bill will be marked up and potentially make it through committee . There’s no guarantee the legislation will make it to the House floor – or would survive that vote , as the Democrats hold an

A House committee has voted to move forward with a bill that would establish a commission to develop proposals to help repair the lasting effects of slavery. The vote came nearly three decades after the bill was was first introduced. Fresh debate over the issue of reparations for the descendants of enslaved people comes amid a national reckoning over race and justice. The House Judiciary Committee took up the bill on Wednesday evening. The vote was the first time the committee has acted on the legislation since former Democratic Rep. John Conyers initially introduced it in 1989.

a house that has a sign on the side of a road: A Black Lives Matter sign sits in front of a home on March 23, 2021 in Evanston, Illinois. The City Council of Evanston voted yesterday to approve a plan, which may be the first of its kind in the nation, to make reparations available to Black residents due to past discrimination. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images) © Provided by Yahoo! News A Black Lives Matter sign sits in front of a home on March 23, 2021 in Evanston, Illinois. The City Council of Evanston voted yesterday to approve a plan, which may be the first of its kind in the nation, to make reparations available to Black residents due to past discrimination. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

While the chances that H.R. 40 will earn passage in the Senate and be signed into law by President Biden are almost zero, the legislation comes at a time when several cities and states across the country — including Providence, R.I., Asheville, N.C., Burlington, Vt., and California — have taken steps to introduce reparations to combat systemic racism in their communities.

Last month, Evanston, Ill. became the first city in the country to approve reparations for Black residents who suffered from practices of racial discrimination stemming from slavery and an era of segregation.

By an 8-1 vote, the Evanston City Council approved the first phase of a 10-year, $10 million commitment toward restitution for Black residents who suffered from discriminatory housing practices in the city between 1919 and 1969.

House committee will hold historic vote on bill to study slavery reparations

  House committee will hold historic vote on bill to study slavery reparations HR 40 would create a commission to study reparations for Black Americans. Leaders of the Congressional Black Caucus met with Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris at the White House for the first time Tuesday and laid out their policy vision, which included a conversation with the administration on reparations.

Under the first phase of the Restorative Housing Reparations program, the first installment of $400,000 will be dispersed in $25,000 allotments for residents to use toward home improvements or mortgage assistance. The money for the plan will be generated by the implementation of a 3 percent tax on recreational marijuana sales.

“It is the start,” Alderman Robin Simmons, who presented the initial reparations plan in February 2019, said shortly after the program’s passing. “It is the reckoning. We’re really proud as a city to be leading the nation toward repair and justice.”

While many progressives celebrate H.R. 40 and its implications for accountability, support for reparations has historically fallen along partisan lines. A February POLITICO/Morning Consult poll found that 60 percent of Democrats support the formation of a committee to study reparations while 74 percent of Republicans oppose it.

Joe Biden wearing a suit and tie: U.S. President Joe Biden speaks in the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, April 15, 2021. (Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images) © Provided by Yahoo! News U.S. President Joe Biden speaks in the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, April 15, 2021. (Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Following his inauguration, Biden expressed support for a reparations study.

“He understands we don’t need a study to take action right now on systemic racism, so he wants to take action within his own government in the meantime,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said at a briefing in February.

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But Republican leaders have felt very different.

In response to Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief plan, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., criticized the bill’s $5 billion fund for Black farmers as a form of “reparations.”

“In this bill, if you’re a farmer, your loan will be forgiven up to 120% of your loan,” Graham said in an interview on Fox News in March. “But if you’re [a] white person, if you’re a white woman, no forgiveness. That’s reparations.”

But supporters of reparations point to what they see as the ongoing discrimination of Black Americans since slavery that has only evolved over time. They also point to the precedent set by Japanese-Americans who received reparations from the U.S. government through the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 to address their internment during World War II.

Mary Louise Defender Wilson holding a sign: A Filipina comfort woman (R) and a supporter hold a protest in front of Japan Embassy in Manila, 13 August 2004, against the United States and Japan at the 59th anniversary of the end of World War II. (JAY DIRECTO/AFP via Getty Images) © Provided by Yahoo! News A Filipina comfort woman (R) and a supporter hold a protest in front of Japan Embassy in Manila, 13 August 2004, against the United States and Japan at the 59th anniversary of the end of World War II. (JAY DIRECTO/AFP via Getty Images)

Without 10 Republican votes in the Senate for reparations, however, H.R. 40 is likely to remain a symbolic victory.

“The Senate is not a good place to be with this legislation, or any legislation that's progressive and advances the interest of African Americans in particular,” Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., chair of the House Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, said during a Monday press call.

“You’ve got to have ten Republicans right now,” Cohen added. “And there are not that many of them that are going to quit and not run again, and have a come-to-Jesus moment.”

House panel advances bill to study reparations for descendants of enslaved Americans

  House panel advances bill to study reparations for descendants of enslaved Americans A House committee on Wednesday advanced a bill that would create a commission to study reparations for descendants of enslaved Americans, a major achievement for advocates of reparations as it marks the first time this bill would have a full House vote on the floor. © House Committee on the Judiciary/YouTube Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee on April 14. The House Judiciary Committee late Wednesday night approved H.R. 40 by a vote of 25-17. The measure proposes the creation of a federal commission to study reparations and recommend remedies for the harm caused by slavery and the discriminatory policies that followed abolition.

However, Daniels from NAARC, which helped shape Evanston’s reparations program, is more optimistic.

“One of the things that has taken reparations from the fringes to mainstream is respect … and President Biden said he would have the back of Black Americans and we believe him,” he said.

“If it does not go through the Senate, we will push Biden to enact this by executive order and we fully expect this commission to be sanctioned and fully operationalized through an executive action,” Daniels added. “Evanstan helped build the momentum for a federal bill.”

Cover thumbnail photo illustration: Yahoo News; Photos: Terry Ashe/The LIFE Images Collection via Getty Images/Getty Images, Ira L. Black/Corbis via Getty Images

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Democrats debate timing and wisdom of reparations vote .
Reparations advocates notched a historic victory this week when a House committee approved, for the first time, legislation to study whether Black Americans should receive restitution for slavery.Now those lawmakers want a vote on the floor.But while Democratic leaders in the last Congress had promised quick action on the reparations bill if it passed through the House Judiciary Committee, they're treading more carefully this year.Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) supports the proposal but is leaving the vote calendar decisions to House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.).

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