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House Approves Limits on Displaying Confederate Flag at VA Cemeteries

Image: House Approves Limits on Displaying Confederate Flag at VA Cemeteries
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By    |   Thursday, 19 May 2016 12:51 PM

The House of Representatives approved a Democrat proposal to limit displaying the Confederate flag at national cemeteries run by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The vote was 265 Republicans in favor, 159 opposed and 158 voted against the proposal by California Rep. Jared Huffman, who attached the amendment to a spending bill for the VA and for military construction, according to The Hill.

All but one House Democrat and 84 Republicans voted in favor of the amendment.

When Huffman, a Democrat, unveiled the amendment, he said, "Over 150 years ago, slavery was abolished. Why in the year 2016 are we still condoning displays of this hateful symbol on our sacred national cemeteries?"

Families placing small Confederate flags on individual graves would still be allowed, according to The Hill.

A staffer for Georgia Rep. Lynn Westmoreland compared Huffman's proposal to cultural cleansing by ISIS, but Westmoreland's spokeswoman Leigh Claffey said, "Representative Westmoreland does not condone this type of language from his staffers."

Before the vote, in an email to The Hill, Rep. Huffman said he proposed the amendment because he wants Republicans to go on the record in support of the Confederate flag.

"My hope is they just step up and face it," Huffman told The Hill.

Huffman attached a similar amendment to an Interior Department spending bill last year after the racially motivated shooting at a historically black Charleston, S.C. church. No one opposed it and it passed with a voice vote.

Then some Republican legislators learned about the bill the next day and tried to get Huffman's attachment removed. Eventually, House GOP leaders scrapped the Interior Department spending bill, apparently to avoid voting on keeping the Confederate flag on the same day the South Carolina House voted to remove it from flying at its capital.

This is the second vote Democrats have forced about the Confederate flag in less than a day. The House passed a defense authorization bill that included allowing the Citadel in South Carolina to continue flying the Confederate symbol, according to Roll Call.

South Carolina Democratic Rep. Jim Clyburn said he would continue attempts to resolve the issue in his state.

"I will not let this rest," Clyburn said in April, according to the Post and Courier.

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The House of Representatives approved a Democrat proposal to limit displaying the Confederate flag at national cemeteries run by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
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2016-51-19
Thursday, 19 May 2016 12:51 PM
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