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White House blasts GOP on race

White House blasts GOP on race
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The White House on Thursday bashed House Republicans for setting up a vote on an amendment to continue to allow the Confederate flag to be flown at certain federal cemeteries.

Republicans abruptly canceled the vote earlier on Thursday and pulled the underlying bill funding the Interior Department from the floor.

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White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the House’s move shows that Republicans' agenda is “out of step with vast majority of Americans” and that they are “eager to protect the status of the Confederate flag on National Park Service grounds.”

The House earlier this week in a voice vote adopted language in the Interior bill banning the display of Confederate flags on National Park Service grounds. The new amendment would have reversed the earlier vote.

Earnest also took a swipe at Donald TrumpDonald TrumpGaetz was denied meeting with Trump: CNN Federal Reserve chair: Economy would have been 'so much worse' without COVID-19 relief bills Police in California city declare unlawful assembly amid 'white lives matter' protest MORE, saying some in the GOP have declined to criticize “the race-baiting rhetoric of a leading Republican presidential candidate,” and made reference to House Majority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseBoehner finally calls it as he sees it Republican House campaign arm rakes in .7 million in first quarter The Hill's Morning Report - Biden seeks expanded government, tax hikes MORE’s (R-La.) past connection to white supremacist David Duke. 

Scalise spoke to a group founded by the former Ku Klux Klan leader in 2002 before he was in Congress. He later worked to make amends with black leaders and declared that he rejects racial bigotry. 

Earnest praised the GOP-controlled South Carolina Legislature for voting Thursday to remove the Confederate flag from state grounds.

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Thursday he does not believe Confederate flags should be displayed at federal cemeteries. When asked why the amendment was added to the bill, he said he "supported the goal of trying to work with all the parties to address their concerns."
 
"It's time for some adults here in the Congress to actually sit down and have a conversation about how to address this issue," he said. 
 
Boehner's office said the amendment was consistent with current Obama administration policy. 
 
“Distorting fact to try and score cheap political points is no way to honor the victims of the horrific crime in Charleston," said spokesman Cory Fritz. "These childish attacks are completely dishonest, and beneath the dignity of the office of the presidency.”