On Tuesday, the Senate passed a bill to establish Juneteenth a national holiday. The day marks the end of slavery in the United States.
The holiday is celebrated on June 19, and is also known as Freedom Day. It recognizes the emancipation of formerly enslaved African Americans.
More than 150 years later, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., made a motion to pass the bill via unanimous consent. No other senator objected, including Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., who dropped his previous objection to the bill.
“While it still seems strange 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,” Johnson stated.
Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, first introduced the bill last spring at the height of racial tension in the country following the murder of George Floyd, but they could not garner the support needed. Now, about a year later, the bill included 18 GOP co-sponsors.
“It has been a state holiday in Texas for more than 40 years,” Cornyn tweeted Tuesday afternoon. “Now more than ever, we need to learn from our history and continue to form a more perfect union.”
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