The H.R. 40 bill that calls for a commission to study reparations advanced out of the House Judiciary Committee in April for the first time since the legislation was introduced in 1989. Since April, there has been no movement on the bill and progressive freshman Democrat Rep. Jamaal Bowman of New York wants action now.
“Let’s talk about reparations in 2021 like we did in 2020,” Bowman tweeted Thursday. “We’re not waiting for the midterms. Black voters are tired of issues that are used to excite them, but then given excuse after excuse to pass them. It’s time to bring HR40 to a vote.”
On April 14, the House panel finally advanced and approved legislation to create a commission to study reparations. The vote to advance the measure to the full House passed 25-17 after a lengthy debate, NBC News reported.
The legislation would create a commission to examine slavery and discrimination in the U.S. from 1619 to the present. The commission would then recommend appropriate remedies.
The bill was first introduced by the late Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., in 1989.
The House bill had no Republicans among its 176 co-sponsors and would need 60 votes in the evenly divided 50-50 Senate to overcome a filibuster.
Some on Twitter agreed with Bowman but others called for changes in the H.R. 40 bill.
Bowman has voiced his approval of reparations before. Immediately after winning the Democratic primary in June 2020, he tweeted about reparations. “We were promised 40 acres and a mule in 1865. Instead we received over a century more of oppression and exploitation. We must complete the project of Reconstruction by creating a truth and reconciliation commission and delivering reparations.”
In August 2020, he showed he would not forget, tweeting, “We demand reparations!”
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