ICYMI: Hoyer Leads the Fight to Remove Hate from Congress

Wanted to make sure you saw news coverage of last night’s House passage of H.R. 3005, legislation to remove hate from the Capitol. The legislation, sponsored by House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD), would require the removal of the bust of Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, who penned the majority opinion in the infamous Dred Scott v. Sanford decision, and replace it with one of Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. The bill would also remove statues of those who supported slavery and segregation, as well as those who served voluntarily in the Confederate States of America. The legislation now heads to the Senate for further action. See below for highlights from press coverage of the legislation. The New York Times: House votes to remove Confederate statues at the Capitol “The House voted on Tuesday to remove statues honoring Confederate and other white supremacist leaders from public display at the United States Capitol, renewing an effort to rid the seat of American democracy of symbols of rebellion and racism… ‘We can’t change history, but we can certainly make it clear that which we honor and that which we do not honor,’ said Representative Steny H. Hoyer, Democrat of Maryland and the majority leader, who helped write the bill. ‘Symbols of hate and division have no place in the halls of Congress.’ The legislation will now go to the Senate, where Democrats have vowed to use their narrow majority to try to advance it.”

USA Today: House passes bill to remove Confederate statues from the Capitol “‘This sacred space, this temple of democracy has been defiled for too long. We ought not to forget history. We must learn from history. But we ought not to honor that which defiles the principles for which we … stand,’ House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said on the House floor before the vote. ‘It’s time to remove those symbols of slavery, segregation and sedition from these halls.’… The legislation would require states to remove and replace any statues honoring members of the Confederacy in the National Statuary Hall Collection in the Capitol by prohibiting ‘persons who served as an officer or voluntarily with the Confederate States of America or of the military forces or government of a State while the State was in rebellion against the United States’ from the collection.”

Politico: House again passes bill to remove racist symbols from Capitol “House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer’s bill — a yearslong endeavor from House Democrats to rid the U.S. Capitol of racist symbols — passed in a 285-120 vote, with 67 Republicans crossing the aisle in support of the legislation…In a speech on the House floor earlier Tuesday, Hoyer invoked the Jan. 6 insurrection as a ‘watershed moment — seeing such evils pervade the halls of the American Capitol.’ But Hoyer said African Americans who have worked in the Capitol for decades were all too familiar with the ‘sense of defilement of this sacred space.’… Hoyer reintroduced the legislation in May and said ‘it’s never too late to do the right thing.’ While it has a greater chance of passing in the upper chamber this time around, it will likely face a similar fate with the Democrats’ slim majority in the Senate.”

The Wall Street Journal: House Backs Bill Removing Confederate Statues From Capitol “‘Symbols of slavery, sedition and segregation have no place in the halls of Congress,’ said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D., Md.), a sponsor of the bill… ‘I would hope that at least a third of the United States Senate Republicans would vote for it. Hopefully more than that,’ Mr. Hoyer said. ‘This is, again, not about forgetting history, not about any kind of blurring over history, but it is saying we will not honor in the halls of Congress, by prominent display, either pictures, statues—or busts, in the case of Roger Brooke Taney—that give rise to a sense that somehow they are being honored when they dishonored democracy and human rights.’”

CNN: House tries again on removing Confederate statues   “The House legislation would not only replace Taney’s bust in the old Supreme Court chamber and remove statues of those who voluntarily served the Confederacy against the United States in the Civil War, but also would oust statues of three elected officials who defended slavery, segregation and White supremacy: John C. Calhoun, Charles Aycock and James P. Clarke… A June 2020 Quinnipiac University poll found 52% of Americans supported removing Confederate statues from public spaces around the country, while 44% were opposed — the first time a majority of Americans supported removal.” 

CNBC: House votes to remove Confederate statues, bust of former Chief Justice Roger Taney from Capitol “Lawmakers put a particular emphasis on removing Taney’s bust, noting that he authored the infamous ‘Dred Scott v. Sanford’ ruling that declared that Black Americans could not be U.S. citizens. The bust will be replaced with one of Thurgood Marshall, the first Black justice on the high court. ‘The Dred Scott decision was a blot on our history and represents the tragic legacy of slavery and racism that should not be celebrated in our country … It is fitting that we honor Justice Thurgood Marshall instead, a fighter for justice and inclusion, who sought to advance the civil rights movement,’ said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., in a statement.”

Forbes: 120 House Republicans vote against bill to remove Capitol’s Confederate statues “House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said the statues should be removed ‘not to forget them’ but because ‘they are not deserving of our honor,’ arguing Marshall would be a ‘far better ambassador for democracy’ than Taney.”

Roll Call: House votes to remove Taney bust, Confederate statues “Taney would be replaced by another Marylander in the Old Supreme Court Chamber of the Capitol: Thurgood Marshall, the first Black Supreme Court justice. The measure, introduced by House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., would also remove the statues and busts of people who voluntarily served in the Confederacy and other white supremacists, such as John C. Calhoun, a former vice president… ‘It’s time, Mr. Speaker, to remove those symbols of slavery, segregation and sedition from these halls,’ Hoyer said.”

The Hill: House passes bill to remove Confederate statues from Capitol “Members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) have long called for taking down the Confederate statues in the Capitol, including after the violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., in 2017. Wednesday’s vote marked a victory for their efforts after spending years in the Capitol passing statues of people who fought to keep their ancestors enslaved.”

Maryland Matters: U.S. House votes to scuttle statues of Confederate leaders, bust of Roger Brooke Taney “The U.S. House voted Tuesday to remove from the Capitol a bust of the late Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Taney, a Marylander who wrote the despised Dred Scott decision—as well as evict statues and busts of men who fought for the Confederacy or served in its government… Taney wrote the majority opinion in 1857 in Dred Scott, a case initiated in Missouri. The ruling, which provoked intense opposition in the North, said that people of African descent were not citizens and had no right to bring suit in federal court — effectively upholding slavery.”

“The House bill also would direct the Architect of the Capitol to remove other statues and busts of individuals connected with the Confederacy. The bill specifically mentions three men who promoted slavery and segregation — Charles B. Aycock, of North Carolina; John C. Calhoun, of South Carolina; and James P. Clarke, of Arkansas…‘It is never too late to do the right thing,’ Hoyer said during Tuesday’s floor debate, quoting Martin Luther King Jr. ‘And this, today, is the right thing. It reflects our growth as a state as we have confronted the most difficult parts of our history.’”



, ,



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *