Posted on July 7, 2020
Felicia Sonmez, Washington Post, July 6, 2020
House Democrats have included language in a federal funding bill ordering the removal of Confederate statues from the U.S. Capitol, setting the stage for a battle over the issue later this year.
The move comes amid a national debate over racial injustice sparked by the killing of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, in Minneapolis police custody in May. As large-scale protests over police brutality and systemic racism have swept the country for weeks, some demonstrators have toppled statues and monuments to Confederate figures, arguing that their removal is long overdue.
The fiscal year 2021 legislative branch funding bill released Monday by the House Appropriations Committee includes a provision directing the Architect of the Capitol to remove statues or busts “that represent figures who participated in the Confederate Army or government, as well as the statues of individuals with unambiguous records of racial intolerance,” according to a summary released by the panel.
Congress faces a late September deadline each year by which to send its appropriations bills to the president’s desk, although in practice, agreement on those measures is rarely reached, forcing lawmakers to pass a series of continuing resolutions in order to keep the government running at current spending levels. That means the appropriations bill containing the provision on Confederate statues is unlikely to become law.