Since the killing of George Floyd and nationwide protests amongst a time of civil unrest in America, statues of confederate leaders have been a topic of extreme controversy and deemed offensive to groups such as Black Lives Matter and activist seeking racial justice. On Wednesday, The House of Representatives voted to remove Confederate statues from the U.S. Capitol Hill grounds.
The bill presented on Wednesday requires the removal of Confederate monuments of specific individuals who were deemed ‘white supremacists’ and held racist views such as General Robert E. Lee, Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, Jefferson Davis, John C. Calhoun, Charles Aycock, James P. Clarke, and Alexander Stephens from the US Capitol.
Passed with a bipartisan vote of 305-113, all no votes were from Republicans. Seventy-two Republicans and one Libertarian supported the House Democrats in their efforts. In order for the bill to take effect, the Senate will have to pass the legislation.
Republican Illinois Representative Rodney Davis stated, “The statues in the U.S. Capitol represent to visitors throughout the world what we stand for as a nation. The legislation would remove all statues of individuals “who voluntarily served the Confederate States of America from display in the United States Capitol.”
If the bill is passed by the Senate, the legislation will direct the Architect of the Capitol to identify and remove other statues of individuals who served as a Confederate officer or volunteer in the confederacy and transport those statues to the Smithsonian Institution.