House Democrats Hold Hearing on Reparations for Black Americans - Should the U.S. Study Reparations Proposals?
Should a commission examine ways to provide reparations to Black Americans?
by Causes | 2.17.21
What’s the story?
- House Democrats held a committee hearing on Wednesday to discuss a bill that would establish a commission to explore proposals for providing African-Americans with reparations for slavery.
- The House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties heard testimony from a panel of witnesses on the Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African Americans Act (H.R. 40).
- The bill would establish a 13-member commission to examine slavery and discrimination in the original colonies and in the U.S. to the present day, lingering negative effects of slavery on living African-Americans and society, and recommend appropriate remedies. The commission would be funded with $12 million to carry out its research.
- The legislation has been introduced in each Congress since 1989, and while House Democrats held a hearing on it during the last Congress on Juneteenth, they did not vote on the bill in committee or on the floor.
- The lead sponsor of the bill and member of the subcommittee, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), said she supports a commission to examine reparations proposals and tweeted the following statement:
“Truth and reconciliation about the ‘original sin of American slavery’ is necessary to light the way to the beloved community we all seek. The uncomfortable truth is that the United States owes its position as the most powerful nation in the world to its slave-owning past.”
- Rep. Burgess Owens (R-UT), a descendent of slaves who grew up in Florida during the Jim Crow era, was the honorary co-chair of the hearing and said Black Americans should reject reparations because “we believe in commanding respect through meritocracy,” and added:
“It is impractical and a non-starter for the United States government to pay reparations. It is also unfair and heartless to give Black Americans the hope that this is a reality. The reality is that Black American history is not one of a hapless, hopeless race oppressed by a more powerful white race. It is instead a history of millions of middle class and wealthy black Americans throughout the early 20th century achieving the American dream.”
- The White House has signaled that President Joe Biden would support the bill to study reparations proposals, and Press Secretary Jen Psaki added in a press briefing “that we don’t need a study to take action, right now, on systemic racism. So he wants to take actions within his own government in the meantime.”
— Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Jackson Lee: oscepa via Flickr / Creative Commons)
IT: 🩹 Senate passes $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill, and... Should Gov. Cuomo resign?Welcome to Monday, March 8th, queen and worker bees...The Senate passed a $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill with zero Republican
by Causes | 3.8.21
Senate Sets Record for Longest Vote as Democrats Scramble to Reach Deal on Unemployment BenefitsWhat’s the story? The Senate on Friday set a new record for the longest vote in the chamber’s history as Democrats struggled to
by Causes | 3.5.21
U.S. Economy Adds 379K Jobs as States Ease Pandemic Restrictions on Restaurants & BarsThis content leverages data from USAFacts, a non-profit that visualizes governmental data. You can learn more on its website,
by Causes | 3.5.21