WASHINGTON, D.C. (KXAN/NBC News) — On Tuesday evening, the U.S. House voted 285 to 120 to remove several monuments to Confederate leaders from Capitol grounds, as nationwide calls for social justice continue across the country.
In addition to Democrats, who unanimously voted in favor, 67 Republicans voted to remove the statues. The changes would include the removal of a bust of Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, who authored an opinion in the Supreme Court’s 1867 Dred Scott v. Sandford decision that people of African descent aren’t considered citizens under the U.S. Constitution and should not be given its protected rights and privileges.
The January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol was also given as reasoning for the vote, with House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-South Carolina, arguing that Trump-supporting rioters who stormed the building were also carrying Confederate paraphernalia.
“On January 6th, we experienced the divisiveness of Confederate battle flags being flown inside the U.S. Capitol,” said Clyburn. “Yet there are still vestiges that remain in this sacred building that glorify people and a movement that embraced that flag and sought to divide and destroy our great country. This legislation will remove these commemorations from places of honor and demonstrate that as Americans we do not celebrate those who seek to divide us.”
The decision now heads to the U.S. Senate, where it will face tougher odds. The legislation needs 60 votes to advance. With the Senate almost nearly split evenly, it’s uncertain if any GOP lawmakers will support the bill.