Health Care

Senate approves bill to make Juneteenth a federal holiday

Senate approves bill to make Juneteenth a federal holiday”

Juneteenth began as a holiday in the State of Texas and is now celebrated in cities and states throughout the country as a special day of observance in recognition of the emancipation of all slaves in the United States.

Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer reportedly asked for unanimous consent to advance the bill and no members of either party objected.

The Senate voted unanimously on Tuesday to pass legislation that would make June 19th, known as Juneteenth, a national holiday celebrating the end of slavery in the US.

The bipartisan bill needs to be passed by the House and signed by President Joe Biden before it becomes law. "It has been a state holiday in Texas for more than 40 years", Cornyn tweeted on Tuesday. Johnson was the lone senator to object to the legislation, arguing in July 2020 that the bill would place an undue burden on taxpayers by requiring them to fund another paid holiday for federal employees. The 2021 bill, titled the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act, has 60 Senate cosponsors, including 18 Republicans, meaning it has sufficient support necessary to end a filibuster. "Now more than ever, we need to learn from our history and continue to form a more ideal union".

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A signed copy of Emancipation Proclamation at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Ill., which will mark Juneteenth, by displaying the rare signed copy. Last year, Johnson and others tried to negotiate swapping Juneteenth for Columbus Day so there would not be another federal holiday added.

Juneteenth marks when enslaved people in Texas learned they had been freed under the Emancipation Proclamation.

"While it still seems unusual that having taxpayers provide federal employees paid time off is now required to celebrate the end of slavery, it is clear that there is no appetite in Congress to further discuss the matter". In the decades since, every state but South Dakota came to officially commemorate Juneteenth, but only a handful of states observe it as a paid holiday. A companion House bill proposed by Democratic Representative Sheila Jackson Lee garnered Republican co-sponsorship as well.

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