Senate panel approves Nazi-stolen art recovery bill

Jewish families are one step closer to recovering artwork that was stolen by the Nazis.

A Senate panel on Thursday advanced the bipartisan Holocaust Expropriated Art Recovery (HEAR) Act. The legislation would eliminate legal barriers that stand in the way of Jewish families reclaiming art that ended up in museums and private collections following the Holocaust.

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Three months after actress Helen Mirren showed up on Capitol Hill to advocate for the HEAR Act, the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved the legislation, which now goes to the floor for a final vote.

The HEAR Act has garnered wide support from both sides of the aisle, including from Sens. John CornynJohn CornynGun proposal picks up GOP support House bill set to reignite debate on warrantless surveillance Republicans jockey for position on immigration MORE (R-Texas), Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzWhatever you think the Alabama special election means, you’re probably wrong This week: Congress gets ball rolling on tax reform Week ahead: Senators work toward deal to fix ObamaCare markets MORE (R-Texas), Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerOvernight Health Care: Schumer calls for tying ObamaCare fix to children's health insurance | Puerto Rico's water woes worsen | Dems plead for nursing home residents' right to sue Crying on TV doesn't qualify Kimmel to set nation's gun agenda Trump knocks ‘fake’ news coverage of his trip to Puerto Rico MORE (D-N.Y.), and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.).

For Jewish families, this art is a reminder of their heritage, said Cruz, which is “far more valuable than whatever economic value the works of art or cultural artifacts might have today. Indeed, that is priceless.” 

“It is long past time to return the ill-gotten gains of one of history’s vilest villains,” said Blumenthal.