A draft of a funding bill released on January 6 composed by Democrats on the House Appropriations Committee has a provision that aims to remove statues of those who served in the Confederacy from the U.S. Capitol. The provision also details that statues that have “unambiguous records of racial intolerance” must also be removed.
Provision Unlikely to Pass
The bill encompasses over $4 billion to fund the legislative branch during the fiscal year, which begins in October. According to Fox News, it will likely not pass as it presently stands due to how Congress has previously run its appropriations process. However, it could act as a template for future resolutions involving the running of the government, and the statue-removal provision could advance into that legislation.
— House Appropriations (@AppropsDems) July 6, 2020
“The bill includes language directing the Architect of the Capitol to remove statues or busts in the U.S. Capitol that represent figures who participated in the Confederate Army or government, as well as the statues of individuals with unambiguous records of racial intolerance, Charles Aycock, John C. Calhoun, and James Paul Clarke, and the bust of Roger B. Taney,” an online summary of the bill reads.
Democrats Making Things Difficult
A GOP aide with appropriation experience was critical of the Democrats’ attempt to pass such a provision.
“This is a policy rider that should be considered by the authorizing committees and the Joint Committee of Congress on the Library, not as part of the appropriations process,” the aide said. “We hope that Democrats will work with us on bills the President will actually sign into law.”
“We are headed toward a Continuing Resolution, so these House appropriations bills are just posturing,” another Republican aide said.
Erasing American History One Statue at a Time
The bill’s language describes a “Confederate” statue or bust to be any depictions of people who voluntarily served in the Confederate military, the military of a state while it was in rebellion against the U.S., or any individual who was a Confederate government official.
President Trump has been a staunch defender of not erasing American history, and has defended statues of American founders who owned slaves, like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.
This has caused a firestorm of anger from the left, calling for the removal of hundreds of statues across the country. Statues from significant historical figures, such as Andrew Jackson and Christopher Columbus, have also been torn down.
In a tweet from last month, the president explained that he would defend monuments that “represent our History & Heritage, both… the good and the bad.”
Very sad to see States allowing roving gangs of wise guys, anarchists & looters, many of them having no idea what they are doing, indiscriminately ripping down our statues and monuments to the past. Some are great works of art, but all represent our History & Heritage, both….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 25, 2020
President Trump Takes Action
As protesters continue to tear down monuments and deface historical landmarks, the president issued an executive order last week to rebuilt monuments.
Besides the provision, Congress has made other efforts to get rid of Confederate tributes of any kind. Last month, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi got rid of a portrait depicting former House speakers who served in the Confederacy. The Republican-controlled Senate pushed a provision that would require military assets named after Confederates– including Fort Bragg and Fort Lee – to be removed. The president swiftly vetoed this decision.
Even if every Confederate-related statue was torn down, the left would still not be appeased. Statues of abolitionists, such as the Great Emancipator Abraham Lincoln, have been destroyed. This is not about justice, as clearly seen by such actions.