Tags: George Floyd Protests | jacksonlee | slavery | reparations | floyd

Texas Democrat Uses Floyd Death to Push Slavery Reparations Bill in House

rep. sheila jackson lee speaks at a podium
Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee speaks during the private funeral for George Floyd at The Fountain of Praise Church on June 9, 2020 in Houston, Texas. (Godofredo A. Vásquez - Pool/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 30 June 2020 07:53 PM

A Texas Democrat in the House of Representatives is hoping to use the death of a Black man in police custody in Minneapolis to rally support for a slavery reparations bill, TheHill.com reported.

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, a 13-term House member from Houston, introduced in 2019 H.R. 40, a bill that would establish a “commission to study and develop reparation proposals for African Americans.”

“We now have an opportunity, through H.R. 40, to have the highest level of discussion about systemic racism and race,” TheHill.com reported her as saying. “And we are able to do it in a manner that is bringing people together; that acknowledges that Black lives matter; and acknowledges that there has to be a response."

The push comes following the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis on Memorial Day and the protests and riots that have ensued.

The bill had a hearing on June 19 in the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties.Similar measures were introduced in each Congress for 25 years by Democrat Rep. John Conyers of Michigan until his retirement in 2017, according to NPR.

They never advanced out of committee. However, one influential Democrat, House Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern of Massachusetts, appears to be in favor.

"We have to have a discussion on a number of issues — even those that might be uncomfortable for some," McGovern said. "I absolutely — I personally — believe that we should."

Jackson Lee’s bill does not specify an amount to be paid but requires the commission to “examine slavery and discrimination in the colonies and the United States from 1619 to the present and recommend appropriate remedies…identify (1) the role of federal and state governments in supporting the institution of slavery, (2) forms of discrimination in the public and private sectors against freed slaves and their descendants, and (3) lingering negative effects of slavery on living African-Americans and society.”

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, a Maryland Democrat, has said he will bring the bill to the floor if it passes the chamber’s Judiciary Committee, whose chairman, New York Democrat Jerrold Nadler – a co-sponsor of the proposed legislation, has not scheduled any hearings.

TheHill.com quoted New York Democrat Rep. Hakeem Jeffries as saying he believes the committee is waiting to hear from the Congressional Black Caucus before considering the bill.

If it passed the House, TheHill suggested that it was likely to die in the Senate.

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A Texas Democrat in the House of Representatives is hoping to use the death of a Black man in police custody in Minneapolis to rally support for a slavery reparations bill, TheHill.com reported....
jacksonlee, slavery, reparations, floyd
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2020-53-30
Tuesday, 30 June 2020 07:53 PM
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