House Votes To Remove Confederate Monuments From Capitol
The House of Representatives passed a resolution Tuesday (June 29) to remove Confederate memorials and monuments from the U.S. Capitol. The resolution calls to remove statues of people who voluntarily served the Confederacy against the United States in the Civil War.
The resolution also calls for a bust of Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall to replace a bust of Roger B. Taney, the chief justice who wrote the 1857 Dred Scott decision that upheld slavery. The statues of John C. Calhoun, Charles Aycock and James P. Clarke, who defended slavery, segregation and White supremacy as elected officials, would also be removed.
The vote was 285 to 120, with sixty-seven Republicans voting with 218 Democrats in support of the bill.
This the House’s second effort to remove Confederate memorials from the capitol after the George Floyd protests last year. The House passed a similar resolution last July, but it stalled after Senate Republicans argued that the states should decide which statues they’d like to display in the Capitol. Every state sends two statues of prominent residents to the Capitol as part of the National Statuary Hall Collection.
The current resolution has a better chance to pass now that Democrats have the Senate majority.
“It’s never too late to do the right thing, and this legislation would work to right a historic wrong while ensuring our Capitol reflects the principles and ideals of what Americans stand for,” said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, after he introduced the resolution this year.
Some states have already voted to swap out Confederate memorials they previously sent to the Capitol. In 2016, Florida lawmakers voted to replace its statue of Confederate Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith with one honoring civil rights leader Mary McLeod Bethune.
Last December, Virginia lawmakers voted to replace its statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee with one honoring Barbara Rose Johns, an African American woman who played a key role in the civil rights movement.